On March 17, 2022, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference that later that day she would be reading a poem about Ukraine by Bono, the singer of the band U2, during the Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 17, 2022
This is a genuine video of Pelosi. This clip comes from a press conference that can be viewed in full here. The remark about Bono comes at the 51:40 mark.
Pelosi’s statement went viral as many people expressed surprise not only that the Irish singer had written a poem about Ukraine, but that Pelosi would be reading it at the upcoming luncheon. This Snopes writer even publicly expressed skepticism of the remark, hypothesizing that Pelosi had misspoke and that she was actually referring to a poem written by Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko that had been shared by U2’s Twitter account a few days earlier:
Pelosi said she would be "reading a poem written by Bono about Ukraine," but I don't think any such poem exists. I think she's referring to a poem by Taras Shevchenko that was recently shared by U2. https://t.co/E8aB3CSm8o
— Dan Evon (@danieljevon) March 17, 2022
Here’s the post from U2.
— U2 (@U2) March 5, 2022
However, this Snopes writer was wrong. We reached out to Pelosi’s spokesperson and were told that the House Speaker was truly going to read a poem by Bono. And, true to her word, before introducing a group of Irish dancers, Pelosi read a short poem penned by the singer of U2.
Bono’s poem (more accurately described as a limerick) can be read below.
Oh saint Patrick he drove out the snakes
With his prayers but that’s not all it takes
For the snake symbolizes
An evil that rises
And hides in your heart As it breaks
And the evil has risen my friends
From the darkness that lives in some men
But in sorrow and fear
That’s when saints can appear
To drive out those old snakes once again
And they struggle for us to be free
From the psycho in this human family
Ireland’s sorrow and pain
Is now the Ukraine
And saint Patrick’s name now Zelenskyy
Here’s a video of Pelosi’s remarks:
Medina, Maris. “Watch Live: Pelosi Holds Weekly Press Briefing.” TheHill, 17 Mar. 2022, https://thehill.com/598597-watch-live-pelosi-holds-weekly-press-briefing.
Poetry | Taras Shevchenko | Taras Shevchenko Museum – Toronto. https://www.shevchenko.ca/taras-shevchenko/poem.cfm?poem=1. Accessed 17 Mar. 2022.
Speaker Pelosi Holds Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxcP_uLpROI. Accessed 17 Mar. 2022.
WATCH: Pelosi Holds Her Weekly News Conference. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_RsGM_igmw. Accessed 17 Mar. 2022.