Friday, October 05, 2012

The New Colussus

Goodness. Nobody guessed Emma Lazarus.

The clue was: Her most famous poem was written for a December 1883 art & literary auction to benefit the Pedestal Fund.

We got Elizabeth Barrett Browning (who died in 1861), Emily Dickinson, and ... Ezra Pound? Who was not only a man, but was born in 1885.  For that matter, Dickinson died in 1888.

What I wonder is if any of them thought of the poem - or most likely the last five lines - but just didn't know who wrote it. Here it is, Emma Lazarus's "The New Coloussus":

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!"

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