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“And Hope and History Rhyme” - Seamus Heaney

by Rabbi John Rosove

January 21, 2013 | 5:34 pm

As I watched today and saw one million citizens standing on the Washington Mall waving small American flags in a flutter of red, white and blue as the first African American President was inaugurated for the second time, I felt such deep pride in being an American.

On NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” today, I heard Nikkey Finney, Professor of English Literature at the University of Kentucky, read part of a poem called “The Cure of Troy” by Seemus Heaney (1939-2013), the 1995 Nobel Prize winner in Literature, and thought – Yes!  That is what this moment in time is all about and that is what we are here to feel, think and believe.

The Cure of Troy

…History says, Don't hope
on this 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…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Rabbi John L. Rosove assumed his duties as Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood in November 1988. A native of Los Angeles, he earned a BA in Art History from UC Berkeley...

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