Sunday, December 22, 2013

The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

‘Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame with conquering limbs astride from land to land.’   -The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

I teach America Literature for a reason... because poems like this kill me.
‘Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame…’   -The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

We boarded the ferry to Liberty Island first thing in the morning.  Rain drizzled and there was a woman named Rebekah on the boat that took our picture the day before atop the Empire State... we laughed standing in line beside one another saying, "See ya tomorrow at the MET."  Also, you know you're going to be okay on a ferry ride when a hundred Boy Scouts are along for the ride.  The New York Skyline never looked so ready to face the future.
‘Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles…’  -The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

The girls were so excited... believe me, New York City will bring that out in a person.
‘From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome…’  -The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

But for Dad... it was all about Emma Lazarus.  
‘Her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame…’ 
-The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

I dare you to read this poem and not feel a lump in your throat.
‘“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she with silent lips.’  -The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

I don't care what is sold to me or how much of America you have to discard to get to the real heart of this great country... but the true intent of this America trip...this journey with my daughters... is for poems like this and days like today.
  ‘“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-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”’  -The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883

Moments after taking this picture there was a smell of bacon and cinnamon rolls wafting in the early morning air and we drank coffee and chatted with strangers and played hide and seek in the trees... what a beautiful morning!  God Bless this Place!

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