eglantine_br (eglantine_br) wrote,

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.
Tags: from brooklyn, real life

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