I'm also keenly aware that our world is suffering. There are more refugees and displaced people now than during World War II. I perceive isolationist attitudes and policies similar to what I've only studied about in the 1930s. I do not want to live in fear....I'm a bit of a dogged optimist. However, I am concerned by the need that surrounds me while I live so well.
I first heard The New Colossus as a child. That line, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free drove me to many a historical novel and love for history, culture and then travel that remains in me.
More than ever I am grateful to have been born in America because my immigrant ancestors were able to come here. They came as Catholics, Presbyterians who planted churches, young men seeking to live free lives. I am the fortunate inheritor of their miracles and efforts that I can pass on to my own children.
My hope is that America continues to be a beacon of hope to those who need a new chance. That my compatriots and I live more in gratitude for what we gain from immigrants than fear for differences.
Carol is hosting Poetry Friday over at Carol's Corner today. Thank you to her....please stop by and say hello.
Thanks for your thoughtful post, Linda. I echo your hopes for our country.ReplyDelete
Sometimes poetry gives us the words we just don't have ourselves. Like you, I learned this poem in junior high. Now I teach in a school that's 98% Hispanic, mostly immigrants from Mexico. My students are so afraid right now, and I'm so sad for/with them. I need to share this poem with them.ReplyDelete
It's a poem everyone should re-read and hold close, Linda. That "world-wide welcome" seems to be forgotten. Thanks for this thoughtful post.ReplyDelete
Beacons and lanterns and candles...we need all the light we can get! So happy you'll join me in #haikuforhealing (be sure to use the hashtag if you share on Twitter)!!ReplyDelete
will do! I need accountability for sticking with writing or I slack, slack, slack!Delete
Beautiful thoughts. I am a child of immigrants myself, and my parents were the children of immigrants, too. Canada welcomed my family and gave us a wonderful place to live, and I am forever thankful to have been born here in the so-called developed world. We should never forget how lucky we are, and how much we have to share.ReplyDelete
Great poem for troubled days, Linda. Your big heart shines through.ReplyDelete
Good to see the full text, the full heart of this poem. May we all be mighty women shining our torches.ReplyDelete