Joe Biden, Irish Poetry Fan

President-Elect Illuminates Cruelty and Tragedy of Life in Televised Reading of ‘The Cure at Troy’ by Irish Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney

I am in awe of Joe Biden’s reading of “The Cure at Troy,” by Irish poet Seamus Heaney. Irish television news RTE tonight (Saturday, 7 Nov. 2020) signed off with a television video essay set to Biden reading the poem.

It was shared on Twitter this afternoon by Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s ambassador to the United States, who is clearly thrilled to have an Irish-American heading to the White House.

Here’s the tweet and the link to the Biden TV essay.

Just a note: My father loved poetry. He would have enjoyed this reading.

Here’s the text to the 1991 poem:

The Cure of Troy

Human beings suffer.
They torture one another.
They get hurt and get hard.
No poem or play or song
Can fully right a wrong
Inflicted and endured.

History says, Don’t hope
On the side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea- change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles.
And cures and healing wells.

Call miracle self-healing,
The utter self revealing
Double-take of feeling.
If there’s fire on the mountain
And lightening and storm
And a god speaks from the sky.

That means someone is hearing
The outcry and the birth-cry
Of new life at its term.
It means once in a lifetime
That justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.