Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In Liberty's Gaze

You can protect your liberties in this world only by protecting the other man's freedom. You can be free only if I am free. Clarence Darrow

She didn't know her own strength. She'd never been tested. Never been put up against man's nature to tear things down.

No one knew what would happen when the winds of advertsity blew. When the gales howled. When the hurricanes ripped through the foundations of her belief. Give me your tired, your poor...

No one knew the measure of her strength under pressure of another's assertions he knew best, that his truth was the righteous belief of mankind's salvation.

No one knew.

And, when the winds came, as they often do, they howled and careened around her body, pummeling her righteous stance to not be swayed. To hold fast. To be strong. The winds screamed like a thousand banshees roaring through desert sands, a storm of idealogies cast upon the winds, swirling around her, rising up into a hailstorm of dissent, rising up with hatred and condemnation, fear and loathing. A typhoon of evolutionary calamity in the making of war that would never know peace until quietened in an oasis of calm at the sheer strength of her steadfast gaze through time. ...Give me... Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore...

The winds roared and she stood strong and true as she stands strong and true today. True to the foundation upon which she was built, a symbol of friendship, freedom and peace, this lady of liberty. This lady of the strength to hold fast the belief of nations and the dream of all mankind. Liberty for all. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me...

Hers is the strength of a dream woven into the fabric of their collective nationhood aspiring for equality, justice, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness for all mankind. A nation of people who stand true in their belief in the rightness of all men to worship from their own separate pew. The strength of a nation that stands true to the right of all men, women and children, where ever on earth they may stand to rise up and be heard, be seen and be free. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

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!

Inscribed inside the base of the Statues of Liberty in New York harbour, Swan Ally Island in the Seine River in Paris and Paris' Luxembourg Gardens. The lines are found in a sonnet (thank you nAncY at Poem's & Prayers for connecting me to the source) The New Colossus written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus.

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-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, 1883

This entry is part of today's Blog Carnival over at Bridget Chumbley's place One Word at a Time. The word prompt for today is "strength" -- and I didn't know what I would write until this came out. I didn't know the strength of my belief in the power of a symbol!

To immerse yourself in wonder, click on over to Blog Carnival at Bridget's place, and be prepared to be amazed!

The Blog Carnival's FaceBook page is here.


S. Etole said...

Thanks for reminding us of what this country is about ... freedom for all.

katdish said...

May we never forget the big picture while we're so immersed in our own little worlds. Thanks for the reminder, Louise.

Maureen said...

What is so wonderful about this particular symbol is its universality but also its particularity. And to see it for the first time is to understand what it means still to come to America's shores.

This would be a great 4th of July repost.

Glynn said...

I grew quiet as I read this. Whether you intended it ornot, you reminded me of what my country stands for -- or should.

Anonymous said...

i just had to look up the poem and who wrote it.

very very interesting

M.L. Gallagher said...

The image of the Statue of Liberty came to me as I wrote the first few lines. I have stood at her base and been in awe of her majesty. And I have climbed to her decks and been in awe of the majesty of New York and all it represents laid out before me.

I am Canadian. And the majesty of your nation inspires me too.

Joyce Wycoff said...

Funny that it takes a Canadian to remind us of something we in the US seem to have forgotten. It is definitely a July 4th repost.


Sandra Heska King said...

This is an awesome post. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Louise. It's way too easy to forget things that are so incredibly important. Thank you!