Sister Sirens

The New Colossus

gloria lady libertyBy Emma Lazarus


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!”


4 replies »

  1. Thanks for this. I thought of this poem yesterday as I saw news reports of Murietta residents screaming “go home” and worse at a busload of refugees–mostly children–who are fleeing unspeakable violence and poverty. As a first generation native-born American with pride for what my grandparents and parents accomplished in and for their adopted countries, I am ashamed at the lack of compassion some of our citizens display, and I say we make a big mistake if we turn away people with the resilience and drive to make a better life for themselves.


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