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To think on

I see her almost every day, far away and small, and not quite real. Mother of Exiles-- yes. Even from a distance she is beautiful. Up close her face is stern but not unforgiving. We have all come from somewhere else, all. We were all new once, tired and dazed, intimidated, eager.

The poem is a good one. Somehow in my mind I have it mixed up with Triangle Shirtwaist day, which was yesterday,and that with Bread and Roses. The line about wretched refuse is a bit squirmy though. We don't call anyone refuse anymore. Not right out loud, unless we are Trump. It would be a whole lot better if we didn't treat people like refuse either.

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 world-wide 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, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazurus never lived to see her poem installed at the foot of the statue. She died of TB very young.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2016 06:31 pm (UTC)
At first I thought you were talking about a homeless woman in you neighborhood but then that still kinda fit.

I liked thinking about Sabir giving joy to someone lost and lonely
Mar. 27th, 2016 11:35 pm (UTC)
That's a great poem! There's talk here of a new monument on the harbour to represent Sydney's aboriginal heritage. I think they're still just calling for ideas so far, but it would nice to have something as iconic and memorable as that statue.
Mar. 28th, 2016 05:45 pm (UTC)
It is usually taught in school, here. I have always loved it.
Mar. 28th, 2016 11:58 am (UTC)
That's a great poem.

The 'refuse' bit is a touch squirmy, except if you think that's exactly how some refugees get treated.
Mar. 28th, 2016 01:01 pm (UTC)
That puts me in mind of the attitude toward the Irish (my heritage). As my grandmother told it, that's exactly how some were treated. She recalled growing up on Prince Edward Island, where many families like hers spent a generation working to continue their journey to Boston or New York. There was definitely an emphasis in the family to work hard and stay out of trouble so that slurs like that would not be made.
Mar. 28th, 2016 02:53 pm (UTC)

Our experience of many of the people who have moved to the UK for a 'better life' is that they work really hard.
Mar. 28th, 2016 05:44 pm (UTC)
Yes. Same here. Of course she wrote the poem during the largest wave of immigration that the US ever saw.
Mar. 28th, 2016 05:46 pm (UTC)
Funny how things change-- we would not write that line today, although she obviously had her heart on straight.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )