Friday, January 21, 2011

Poem for Friday and Liberty Museum

Liberty Enlightening the World
By Henry van Dyke

Thou warden of the western gate, above Manhattan Bay,
The fogs of doubt that hid thy face are driven clean away:
Thine eyes at last look far and clear, thou liftest high thy hand
To spread the light of liberty world-wide for every land.

No more thou dreamest of a peace reserved alone for thee,
While friends are fighting for thy cause beyond the guardian sea:
The battle that they wage is thine; thou fallest if they fall;
The swollen flood of Prussian pride will sweep unchecked o'er all.

O cruel is the conquer-lust in Hohenzollern brains:
The paths they plot to gain their goal are dark with shameful stains:
No faith they keep, no law revere, no god but naked Might; --
They are the foemen of mankind. Up, Liberty, and smite!

Britain, and France, and Italy, and Russia newly born,
Have waited for thee in the night. Oh, come as comes the morn.
Serene and strong and full of faith, America, arise,
With steady hope and mighty help to join thy brave Allies.

O dearest country of my heart, home of the high desire,
Make clean thy soul for sacrifice on Freedom's altar-fire:
For thou must suffer, thou must fight, until the warlords cease,
And all the peoples lift their heads in liberty and peace.


I got up early and showered and made myself presentable and went off to my doctor appointment that was postponed from Tuesday after the snow...only to discover that the idiot receptionist (who'd insisted on the phone that my appointment was at 8:30 that day even though I had both a card and a phone message from the office saying it was at 9:30) had put me down on the wrong day, after I confirmed twice that it was Thursday. So now I have to do that NEXT Wednesday, and spent the rest of the morning catching up on stupid things I didn't get done THIS Wednesday while my internet was out. Adam finished his morning exam and was out of school close to noon, but he spent most of the afternoon at a friend's house, while Daniel stayed at school for robotics.

The wonderful Ethel King sent me A Single Man as a present, so of course I had to watch it the minute it arrived in the mail. I knew how it ended, so I was ready for that, but I didn't realize that Colin Firth's character was an English professor, which made me happy. Firth's performance is amazing -- it's very different from his performance in The King's Speech, which requires a whole different technical level of acting skill, but he's in every single scene, often in close-ups, and the emotion he can convey with a single twitch of an eyebrow or flare of a nostril makes nearly every actor I can think of look like he's overdoing it.

We watched $%!# My Dad Says (horribly silly, but amusing), then the first episode of Star Trek: The Animated Series, which I get the dubious privilege of reviewing for the next several weeks...on the plus side, the episodes are short and I haven't seen many of them, and Uhura seems to have more to do here than in the original series itself. SPP this week has Midsummer Night's Dream items, so I went and collected those -- there are Shakespeare backgrounds this entire month, which I love. We are happy the giant pandas are staying at the National Zoo, and that's everything I can think of at this hour!

The original torch of the Statue of Liberty, on display in the museum housed in the Statue's pedestal.

A cast of the face of the Statue, modeled on the face of the artist's mother.

The museum has exhibits displaying how the copper for the statue was shaped.

Adam was very amused to learn that there had been a "Liberty Cheese" fundraiser as one of the efforts to collect enough money to finish the statue.

The plaque with Emma Lazarus's famous poem about the Statue of Liberty used to be displayed outdoors, but is now in the museum.

An actor portraying Frederic Bartholdi, the designer of the Statue, was visiting the dining area talking with visitors about her creation and specs.

This (as well as pigeons and sparrows) was the other major feature of the dining area.

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