Category Archives: immigration

A poem for our time, to our better selves

THE NEW COLOSSUS

(poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty, with recording below.)

‘By Emma Lazarus – 1849-1887

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!”

For those who need also to hear this poem read out loud, I recorded it, after several attempts during which I broke down in tears. Here, then, without tears, but my heart full of them, I offer Emma Lazarus’ amazing poem, which is engraved on the base of the Statue of Liberty,  which we also call, The Lady.

Statue of Liberty poem