WATCH: Hamilton star recites Seamus Heaney in honour of Biden inauguration

By Sarah Finnan

January 21, 2021 at 4:17pm


Playing up to both Biden's Irish heritage and his love of poetry, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda recited a poem by Seamus Heaney in honour of the new president's inauguration. 

One of a multitude of famous faces to partake in the inauguration day festivities, Broadway star and Hollywood actor Lin-Manuel Miranda offered up his warmest wishes to the new president.

Congratulating him on a race well run (where my Hamilton fanatics at?!),  the playwright took the opportunity to recite a few words - choosing The Cure at Troy, a poem by Irish poet Seamus Heaney, as his contribution on the day.

A poem previously quoted by former US president Bill Clinton, Biden also referenced it in his presidential acceptance speech at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. It reads:

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.


A particular favourite of his, Biden has been known to regularly quote Irish poetry in his speeches, claiming that he does so because "they're the best poets in the world".

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