"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“I Wave My Lamp Beside The Bolted Door”: Give Me Your White, Your Rich… Yearning To Earn Fees

In honor of the shameful refusal to accept Syrian refugees, RD contributing editor Peter Laarman has rewritten Emma Lazarus’ sonnet, “Give Me Your White, Your Rich… Yearning to Earn Fees,” best known as the poem carved into Statue of Liberty:

Just 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 fearsome watcher with a torch whose flame
Sparks paranoid frightening, and her name
Purger of Exiles.

From her clenched hand
Flows world-wide warning; her cold eyes command
A guarded harbor that shows our shame.
“Keep in ancient lands, you filthy scum,” cries she
With savage lips. “Give me your white, your rich,
Your lads and lasses yearning to earn fees,
The choicest claimants we have known before.
Send just these, the vetted and well-glossed to me,
I wave my lamp beside the bolted door!”


By: Peter Laarman, United Church of Christ Minister and Activist, Retired Executive Director of Progressive Christians Uniting in Los Angeles; Religion Dispatches, November 19, 2015

November 22, 2015 - Posted by | American History, Immigration, Stature of Liberty | , , , , , , ,

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