WWN’s Guide To Understanding President Higgins’s New Poem


POETRY remains for some, that ever elusive medium, so full of portent but rarely giving to the reader the satisfaction or closure they desire. With the release on vinyl of President’s latest magisterial effort, WWN explains all there is to know about the meaning behind the words. Read below for our handy reader’s guide to a poem that is a dead cert for this year’s Leaving Cert English exam.

The Prophets are Weeping

To those on the road it is reported that

‘Those on the road’ obviously refers to an incident from Michael’s childhood, involving the infamous Burren Flasher. He was finally caught after exposing himself to Michael and several childhood friends as they visited the Burren as part of a school trip.

The Prophets are weeping,

An obvious typo but ‘profits’ are weeping, a clear allusion to the efforts of the Shell To Sea group to hamper the Shell pipeline in Mayo.

At the abuse

Of their words,

Scattered to sow an evil seed.

These lines need little explanation, but are a clear comment on the President’s worry that serial killers on death row in the US are still viable sperm donators.

Rumour has it that,

A tongue in cheek nod to his favourite contemporary singer Adele and he ‘Rumour Has It’ hit.

The Prophets are weeping,

At their texts distorted,

Here the President voices his frustration with the auto correct facility on his i-Phone.

The death and destruction,

Imposed in their name.

The sun burns down,

On the children who are crying,

On the long journeys repeated,

Their questions not answered.

The President looking back on a poorly thought out family trip to Brittas Bay in 1983 when he brought factor 12 for his children. The trip was abandoned after they became badly sunburned.

Mothers and Fathers hide their faces,

Unable to explain,

Why they must endlessly,

No end in sight,

Move for shelter,

for food, for safety, for hope.

Again, a reference to that trip. Despite knowing McDonalds is not a nutritional meal for the family, Michael and Sabina let their children gorge on Happy Meals just to keep them quiet.

The Prophets are weeping,

For the words that have been stolen,

From texts that once offered,

To reveal in ancient times,

A shared space,

Of love and care,

The President once again lists his frustration with phones, revealing an embarrassing incident when he sent an erotic and poetic text to Enda Kenny which was actually meant for his wife, Sabina.

Above all for the stranger.

The ‘stranger’ here is obviously the President, spoiler alert the Prophet or Prophets were Michael D all along. Seems obvious now when you read it back.

Now that the meaning behind the poem is clear be sure to mention ‘iambic pentameter’ in your answer at some point if you are one of the students sitting this year’s Leaving cert.