We are on our final leg of our May/June theme: Festival of Asian Literature and the Immigrant Experience, so for today’s Poetry Friday, as hosted by our dear friends over at Paper Tigers, I’d like to share an old poem, dating as far back as 1883.
When I read this poem, I realized how even as we look at our neighbors and think we are the same, none of us are really natives unless we are indigenous to the land. Most of us have immigrant ancestors. I am not personally indigenous to the Philippines. My ancestry has a mix of Chinese, Spanish, and Middle Eastern to it. Most likely some of my great great grandparents were immigrants too.
Today I share Emma Lazarus’ Poem, an apt poem for both our theme and for Myra’s recent trip to the island.
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 fram.
“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!”
What your Poetry Friday offering? What are you thoughts on today’s poem?