By 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!”
Source: Emma Lazarus: Selected Poems and Other Writings (2002)
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Dear Colleagues, you write, for weeks
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We gathered in a field southwest of town,
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and folding chairs along a gravel road
dry in August, two ruts of soft dust
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and rose in plumes behind us.
By noon we could discern their massive coils
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I will tell you why she rarely ventured from her house.
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One day she took the train to Boston,
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put her name down in cursive script
and waited her turn.
When they read her name...
For the Feral Splendor That Remains
sometimes I strain