Lazarus's poem is inscribed on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty and expresses America's welcoming attitude to the immigrants coming into the country in the later part of the 19th century.
America's arms opened, and closed, for immigrants over the course of our history. Her welcome has depended upon economics, fear, and any number of other factors. Right now it seems her arms are clasped tightly across her chest. For how long?
The words of the poem/song are colorful--"huddled masses yearning," "wretched refuse," "homeless, tempest-tost"--and obviously quite memorable since I can still sing the words 50 years later!
I'm sure when my school chorus performed the song, it must have sounded a little like this:
SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL, don't you think?
Check out this week's edition of the Poetry Friday Round-Up found at Susan Taylor Brown's blog.