A poem written by U2 frontman Bono has emerged, written after a visit to the preacher's home in 2002. The Billy Graham Library in North Carolina, which displays the letter, released the poem to coincide with U2's new album release.
Bono frequently talks about his Christian faith, and his lyrics are full of Christian imagery and themes. The poem suggests that Billy Graham played a role in his finding faith as a teenager. Graham preached at numerous enormous rallies in the UK in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
The poem reads:
The journey from Father to friend
is all paternal loves end
It was sung in my teenage ears
In the voice of a preacher
loudly soft on my tears
I would never forget this
Or its lyric voice that gave my life
a meaning that wasn't there before
a child born in dung and straw
wish the Father's love and desire to explain
how we might get on with each other again...
To the Rev Billy Graham (that preacher)
Ruth and all the Graham family
From Bono (March 11 2002)
With much love and respect
Previously Bono has given tribute to the preacher in the introduction to a song, 'Thank you Billy Graham', saying: "At a time when religion seems so often to get in the way of God's work with its shopping mall sales pitch and its bumper sticker reductionism, I give thanks just for the sanity of Billy Graham for that clear empathetic voice of his, in that Southern Accent, part poet part preacher, a singer of the human spirit, I would say. I give thanks for Billy Graham. Thank you, Billy Graham."