October 28th, 2011
For this week’s Poetry Friday offering we have a poem AND a history lesson, all in one! This Friday marks the 125th birthday of the Statue of Liberty as a gift from France. Emma Lazarus’ poem The New Colossus with its memorable appeal to “give me your tired, your poor,” was commissioned for a fund-raising campaign by artists and writers to pay for the statue’s pedestal.
Read an article in the NYT about the poem’s history and then read the poem itself below.
The New Colossus
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!”
Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday