“Give us the wretched refuse of your teeming shore…
That whole sonnet is really extraordinary, in a heartbreaking way, when juxtaposed like this to America’s present day response to the Syrian (and other global) refugee crisis. I wonder how many 2017 Americans even know this poem is enshrined on the inner wall of the Statue of Liberty? Who are we, indeed?
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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”