Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

            Not like the wretched wetbacks of Rio Grande fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

            With feet flying from bank to bank;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

            Here at our sun-baked wall, she will stand,

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

            A desperate campesina without so much as a match to light the way,

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

            Ready to be imprisoned by the INS, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand;

            Mother of All Dirty & Despised Mexicans. With her calloused hand,

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

            She can feel the disdain, the scorn; her tired eyes scan

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

            The parched desert air that two countries frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

            “Keep your conquered lands, but let me in,” cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

            With sun-burnt lips. “I am tired, poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

            One of the huddled masses yearning to clean your home,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

            To collect your refuse, to cut your lawns on the Jersey Shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

            Take us, the hopeless, hungry, lost,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

            Oh, let us polish your golden door!”


Emma Lazarus
Bill Schechter
June 2007



All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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