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October 27, 2006

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Mother of Exiles

Was looking up the Colossus of Rhodes on Wikipedia (don’t ask) and it noted, at the end of the entry, Emma Lazarus’s poem etched on the Statue of Liberty, which is titled “The New Colossus.”

I always forget how great it is:

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!”

What an American document. What a great (though often unrealized) American ideal.

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Posted October 27, 2006 at 3:57 | Comments (1) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Society/Culture

Comments

Whatup, Twin Cities! E-Laz throws da luv!

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