A Visit to Liberty: a Writer Wednesday Post

July 4th, 2012 | Posted by Irene in Poetry

Hope you are enjoying this day of reflection and celebration. This week, I offer an excerpt from my  narrative poem, “A Visit to Liberty,” which I wrote in 1997 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of The Statue of Liberty. If you would care to hear the piece in its entirety, please watch the 10-minute video below.

To see from a few other pieces of mine, please click here: 

Incidentally– I’ll be on vacation for the next two weeks, so things will be a little quiet on the blog–Thanks for reading and watching.



1.  First, the souvenirs:

Copper Lady and Plastic Lady

and Lady in the Snowball:

coinbanks, cedarboxes,

thick and tasselled pencils,

placemats postcards

mirrors spoons cups

metal paper rubber

bear her blue image


Also fries dogs shakes


2.  Buy our Admit Ones

from the whitehaired grizzlejawed joe

sparkling under his cap.

A short wait, then board

our red white and blue tidy ferry.


3.  Stamping children

flappy flags

ziz of nylon jackets

every size jeans, polyesters,

chiffon scarves, gold bridges,

not just Americans, but

Citizens of Everywhere.


4.  Hair of every kind

streaming over faces.

The violins within my blood

begin to rise.



5.  Thickhand men derope our boat.

The Hudson flushes under us.

We’re off.

Grey and black and navy hugely tower.

The pier disappears as we peer

at the flannel and seersucker buildings compressing.


6.  Hoisted like masts

in the brisk ferry air

squint we

out of our sun and spray tugged lashes.

Teeth dry from windward smiles

fluttery cheeks.


Part of a sandwich flies by.


7.  Ferry bottom slaps on the river’s knee.

Old fort, gunhouse, then


8.  Ellis on the right.

Pink brick sinks in my eyes

and my stomach.

I know that place.

In another life

off the stink of the ship

chilly chillly damp harsh

pulled shoved cursed

named another name,

I embraced my destiny.

Some of it hideous.


Kindness was not yet popular.


9.  Bright oblongs, slices of light,

sun punctuates the water.

City reduced

to a pattern of blocks


10. And there,

as silver and as green

as juneborn leaves

she twists.

There she grows now

so tall, the tallest

woman you have ever seen.


11. Yes,

you can even look under her armpit.

What a great big holy face!

The boat is tipping,

cameras clicking.


12. Her grotto is the open sky

The water is her shrine

Appearing to the faithful

With dignity divine.


13. The beacon herself welcomes us–

Green goddess in the harbor

bearing light and knowledge.

Grave and peaceful,

calm and holy,

she stands at the nation’s door.



Today’s question: Have you visited Herself?



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