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Monday, August 14, 2017


by Harold Oberman 

“The poet Emma Lazarus, moved by this unique symbol of the love of liberty, wrote a very special dedication 100 years ago.” —Ronald Reagan, in his Remarks on the Lighting of the Torch of the Statue of Liberty in New York, New York, July 3, 1986

We coated your flame in 24 carat gold
Pointed our spotlights at it and moved on,
A gilded reflection, not a beacon.

Mother of Exiles, we never enlightened you:

Now in our dark night
A man denied light makes fire
And that light concentrated on a point no longer illuminates.
It ignites.

Harold Oberman is a lawyer working and writing in Charleston, SC. He went to the University of Virginia where he took full advantage of the poets teaching in the English Department. The poems he wrote as an undergraduate that were deemed too political are now, in retrospect, not political enough.