Speaking at the Port of Houston, where he was praising investment in additional infrastructure such as ports and highways, Biden said: “There’s a line from a poem called “Easter Sunday 1916” where William Butler Yeats is describing his Ireland in that era.”
“But I think the line better fits America and the world today than it did 1916 Ireland. It says, 'All’s changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty has been born.'”
Biden was stating that across America the recession is ending and a new era is being born.
The 'terrible beauty' Yeats referred to was the aftermath as part of Ireland claimed its independence in a bloody war. During the Rising 400 people were killed and 2,500 wounded, mostly civilians.
Longtime Biden watchers will see nothing new in his Irish remarks. Biden is intensely proud of his Irish heritage which he traces to Counties Louth and Mayo. He is expected to pay a visit, perhaps to Belfast, later this year or early next.
He has stated his political hero is Wolfe Tone, the Irish revolutionary, and that his grandmother used to scare him with stories about the Black and Tans when he was a kid.
His full quote reads:
"My colleagues in the Senate used to always kid me because I was always quoting Irish poets. They think I quote Irish poets because I’m Irish; that’s not why. I quote them because they’re the best poets. That’s the reason I quote them. There’s a line from a poem called “Easter Sunday 1916” where William Butler Yeats is describing his Ireland in that era. But I think the line better fits America and the world today than it did 1916 Ireland. It says, “All’s changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty has been born.”
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