President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins presented US President Joe Biden with a special-edition album of Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh's most celebrated works during Biden's visit to Áras an Uachtaráin on Thursday, April 13.
Biden frequently quotes Irish poets William Butler Yeats and Seamus Heaney during his speeches and may soon add Patrick Kavanagh to his list after receiving a copy of "Patrick Kavanagh ‘Almost Everything…," a special double album released last year by Claddagh Records.
Kavanagh has a particular significance to Biden after President Barack Obama quoted the Irish poet at Beau Biden's funeral in 2015.
After meeting Biden in Dublin last week, President Higgins said he was "pleased to once again have the opportunity to discuss Irish artistic and cultural works with President Biden, and in particular our shared interest in Patrick Kavanagh - one of our greatest Irish poets whose work is so familiar to Irish migrants, in particular evoking, as it does, fields left behind and a spirit seeking freedom.”
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"Patrick Kavanagh ‘Almost Everything…'", available from Claddagh Records, was originally released in 1964. The album features the only recordings of the revered Irish poet reading his most celebrated poems.
Now remastered and reimagined, the two-part album gifted to Biden features the original recordings and Kavanagh’s poetry read by President Higgins, as well as Bono, Hozier, Imelda May, Liam Neeson, Jessie Buckley, Aidan Gillen, Lisa McGee, Lisa Hannigan, Evanna Lynch, Sharon Corr, Kathleen Watkins, Christy Moore, Rachael Blackmore, and Aisling Bea, all set to wonderful music composition.
The edition that Biden received features a booklet containing print versions of all the poetry that listeners will hear on the album.
Patrick Kavanagh, born in Monaghan, was a poet and novelist best known for works including the novel "Tarry Flynn," and the poems "On Raglan Road" and "The Great Hunger." He is known for his accounts of Irish life through reference to the everyday and commonplace.