A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 30: Mother of Exiles

sunsetAfter the tumultuous weekend of news coming from the United States, I thought it fitting to reprint the poem that is inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty. My wife and I were reminded of it as we watched episode two of “The OA” on Netflix, of all places. This simple sonnet was written in 1883 in order to raise money for the pedestal of the statue. To me, it is a reminder that a work of art can endure; that after so many years it still speaks with truth and conviction:
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!”

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