Sunday, January 19, 2014

Emma Lazarus - Poetry

The next installment in the poetry book is a one that I'm half familiar with.  The poem is 'The New Colossus' by Emma Lazarus (and it apparently has nothing to do with X-Men.)  The poem was inspired by the Statue of Liberty and will be linked to her forever.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows worldwide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, the tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

What an inspiring poem!  Let me concentrate on the first half, which I don't know as well.  I really like the comparison between the Statue of Liberty and the Colossus of Rhodes.  I like the emphasis that lady Liberty is not a martial figure, but one of mercy.  It's no wonder this poem has lasted and lasted.

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