Jack Balas, 2022; THE NEW COLOSSUS, STILL (#2248);
India ink, watercolor and acrylic on paper, 30x22 inches


Once when I was in New York years ago I went out to see the lady in the harbor, that statue my grandmother saw when she was 13 and coming to America in 1906, from eastern Europe and never going back. She told me she cried and kissed the ground when she landed at Ellis Island. Today all these years later the stories happen more in airports than in this harbor, but they are still the same stories. The statue still stands, though. And the poem does too.


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!

(From "The New Colossus"
by Emma Lazarus, 1883)