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!”
Emma Lazarus wrote this sonnet in 1883 in America to raise funds for the construction of the pedestal on which stands the Statue of Liberty.
The glorious aspiration set out in this poem seems to have been well forgotten and contorted over the years.
It appears as though humanity sits at the verge of self destruction. We refuse to learn lessons from history. All too familiar ugly realities of the past repeat themselves -demonising of a particular religious group resulting in seemingly justified atrocities against humanity, wars in the name of peace and liberty, a conviction of weapons of mass destruction/chemical weapons proven wrong, rightful nuclear assault of another country, false news and propaganda, massive unplanned military operations used as knee-jerk reactions to events in order to overthrow tyrannous regimes, complete lack of meaningful dialogue and statesmanship.
The awfulness of it!