Northern Ireland news

Joe Biden recites Seamus Heaney poem in campaign video

Democratic presidential candidate, former US vice president Joe Biden. Picture by Carolyn Kaster/AP
Brendan Hughes

JOE Biden has recited verses from a famous Seamus Heaney poem in a campaign video for the US presidential election.

In the video, the Democratic challenger to Republican president Donald Trump reads sections of 'The Cure at Troy'.

His voiceover is accompanied by black-and-white images from America, including Black Lives Matter protests and healthcare staff battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Posting the video on Twitter, Mr Biden quoted a verse from the poem and attributed it to the Co Derry-born Nobel Laureate.

"The longed-for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme," he tweeted.

In August, the 77-year-old quoted the poem in his acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The former US vice-president added: "This is our moment to make hope and history rhyme."

Mr Biden, who visited Ireland in 2016, has previously spoken proudly of his Irish ancestry.

Throughout his political career he has often included in his speeches lines from Heaney and fellow Irish poet WB Yeats.

Various politicians have cited Heaney's words at one time or another.

Former US president Bill Clinton previously also told how Heaney, who died in 2013 aged 74, hand-wrote the lines for him. He later hung them on the wall of his study in the White House.

The US presidential election will take place next week on November 3.

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