Monday, March 01, 2010

The New Colossus

I watched Glenn Beck's CPAC speech ... the whole hour long one, and it was good.  Very good.

But the climax ... see how little of our own history most of us been taught?  I had no clue about the intentional paralells between the Colossus of Rhodes and the Statue of Liberty.   And frankly, no connection was ever drawn in my history classes between the great French political philosophical writers and our own founders. 

Anyway, the climax of his speech concerned The Statue of Liberty, The New Colossus -- which is the title of the poem in the inscription.  I also had no idea the inscription didn't start with "Give me your tired, ..."

Watch this.  Show it to your kids.  It's less than 5 minutes.  Notice that the crowd titters a little when Glenn says that the Colossus of Rhodes was the idea behind the design of the Statue of Liberty. They didn't know. Neither did I. I blame my instructors.

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, 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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

—Emma Lazarus, 1883

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