Joe Biden Misattributes Quote from Poet John Milton During CIA Speech

President Joe Biden misattributed a quote from an English poet during his speech Friday to the CIA recognizing the agency’s 75th anniversary.

“There’s an expression — Keats said, ‘They also serve who only stand and wait,’” Biden said, referring to the English poet John Keats.

But Keats did not write that poem.

The line is from John Milton’s Sonnet 19: When I Consider How my Light is Spent.

Biden frequently uses the line during speeches to military audiences, but it is not the first time he has misattributed the poem.

“By the way, in the words of Keats, ‘They also serve who only stand and wait,’” he said during a commissioning ceremony of the USS Delaware in April.

On other occasions, Biden has cited the quote to “an English poet” or even correctly to John Milton.

In 2020 and 2021, Biden correctly cited the poem’s author as John Milton on multiple occasions.

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