The Broken Colossus

painted in indigo plant dye on organic hemp cloth stripe-dyed with madder root. The first U.S. flag was made of hemp cloth and its dyes were indigo blue and madder red.

This page was inspired by my personal feeling that we, the United States, at this time in our evolution, at this time in history, should be seeing “red,” rather than feeling “blue,” and earnestly supplicating for the “white” of new purity, i.e., redemption as a yet-again new colossus.

Below is my version of the Emma Lazarus’ sonnet “The
New Colossus
,” which is graven within the pedestal upon which the Statue of Liberty stands:











The Broken Colossus
– Mary Jo Magar –
Too like the brazen giant of Greek fame
That soon fell by act of God upon land,
Here at our worn, twilight gates still can stand
A once-mighty woman, her torch, whose flame
Was lightning liberated, now her name,
Mother of Shame. From her weakening hand
Shows world-wide disgrace; her sad eyes command
The smog-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Remember our once-storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Now give me elite more,
Then your poor for labor, illegal, free,
Wretched refuse desperate for a shore,
Send these, into tempest-tost debt, to me.
I lower my lamp from the golden door.

The New Colossus
– Emma Lazarus –
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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”