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, you 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!”



Emma Lazarus (November 2 1883)


From the New York Times; Monday  January 30 2017




14 thoughts on “The New Colossus

  1. That is enduringly beautiful, even though the sentiments, unfortunately, did not endure, judging by the cruel measures being taken by the new President of the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really frightening, what is going on over there in the US, I don’t think I’ll be going over there anytime soon. It was bad enough in 2008, hate to think what it’ll be like now even coming from Australia.
      The words “give me your tired”, are etched in many peoples minds, and were synonymous with the United States of America, sadly it seems. no more.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ……and the lamp was extinguished.


    1. I sometimes wonder.

      Was it ever truly alight?


  3. Make no mistake. The US has always had restrictions on immigration. Trump just happens to be totally ignorant about the process.


    1. Were the last three words needed? I think some restrictions are essential, you can’t have open slather like they did in England after the war, they opened the gates pretty well to anyone, and look what it did!


  4. And Australia had the chance to pick up the lamp but hasn’t as yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And we wont with people like Malcolm ‘The Banker’ Turnbull in control.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well Trump has trashed that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this poem. When I was in college (1960s) our women’s chorale sang a beautiful version of the lines from “Give me your tired, your poor…” right up to the end of the poem.

    Our nation is built of people who came here tired, poor, yearning to be free. I wish I could say all of them came by their own choice. I wish I could say the founders of this country had practiced the same hospitality for American Indians. I wish this world weren’t so filled with the agony we see every day when some are made the target of other’s efforts to eradicate or subdue them.

    Many of us here have forgotten our personal and national roots. Or that our mothers and fathers were also immigrants. The history of the USA includes a persistent mean-spirited face toward those brought over as slaves, and toward other ethnicities and religions (including Roman Catholics, for example) who came in various waves of immigration. Unfortunately, this less beautiful part of our history has been left out or ‘whitewashed’ in many standard American history textbooks for grade school and high school.

    Many of us are willing to acknowledge the mixed nature of our history, yet we seem to have a less welcoming face today than we did when I was growing up. Today we tend to be fearful not just of those identified by our current President as the problem (whether they are or not), but also of our own citizens living in various parts of our country.

    Some have rightly, in my opinion, described the USA as a group of several informal nations within one country. Many choose not simply to shut out the rest of the world, but to remain uninformed about, or unwilling to live in certain parts of the US. It makes governance difficult at best, even for the most gifted politicians and officials.

    Thanks, Brian, for posting this lovely poem and photo. I still have hope and stand up for our ideals–with proper precautions and restrictions as always for those who wish to do us harm. Thanks to everyone who commented above. I wish I could wave a magic wand….


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Australia too was founded on hardship. A penal settlement, which probably accounts for a vast number/majority of Australians who when asked for their religion, when the census is being conducted state “No Religion”!
      America on the other hand, was started by amongst other things, people getting away from religious persecution, and has since given free rein to all religions, and pseudo religions, providing it seems that one Jesus Christ takes centre stage. Plus of course the Jews, for after all JC was a Jew and practiced their law.
      Which is bad luck for the descendants of the other 11 tribes, (Jacobs other sons), who kind of went along the other track.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Today it seems (here in the USA) that any religion or none at all is acceptable. We’re far more secular now than we were when I was growing up. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing or a good thing. I’m just suggesting it’s no longer true that the USA is a Christian nation that honors Jesus Christ in the same way it may have before. I would probably emphasize Protestant as the historical preference. Hence fear of anything that smacks of high church or ‘popism.’ We have a history of harsh discrimination against Roman Catholics when they began arriving in large numbers. JFK was our first RC President–which caused a great furor for many Protestant Christians. Just as having a Jewish President would also make many unhappy. Muslims share Christian respect for Jesus. Not unsurprising, since the Koran includes parts of Christian scripture, including the gospels. I’m not a scholar of religious history, but I’m guessing most religions or faiths include hospitality toward strangers as a religious ideal and goal for everyday life. Strange, then, that we find this so alien today.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Back in 2005 when in Rome it was very noticeable around the Vatican the many beggars. It appeared that the only people that had any time and stopped and gave them alms were Muslims, the catholic priests, of which there were many gave them short shrift.Hypocrites all !

          Liked by 1 person

        2. not a very inviting witness, that’s for sure!

          Liked by 1 person

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