Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Another Poem of New York

In honor of National Poetry Month, here is another poem from the collection I Speak of the City: Poems of New York. This classic, written by Emma Lazarus in 1883, was inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty in 1903. The poem was written in support of a fund-raising campaign to build a pedestal for the now-famous statue.

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 milk eyes command
The air-bridged barbor 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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