Reflections on the verb “to be”

"The only border that is real is the border of language." -- Edward Salter Owen,


Reflections on the verb “to be”

January 29, 2023

“Long Island Sound”

As it is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty



I see it as it looked one afternoon

In August,—by a fresh soft breeze o’erblown.

The swiftness of the tide, the light thereon,

A far-off sail, white as a crescent moon.

The shining waters with pale currents strewn,

The quiet fishing smacks, the Eastern cove,

The semicircle of its dark, green grove.

The luminous grasses, and the merry sun

In the grave sky; the sparkle far and wide,

Laughter of unseen children, cheerful chirp

Of crickets, and low lisp of rippling tide,

Light summer clouds fantastical as sleep

Changing unnoted while I gazed thereon.

All these fair sounds and sights I made my own.


Emma Lazarus


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