Poetry Project — July 2017

This month, a poem in the style of SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY, by Lord Byron.
Rhyme, meter, romance. What’s not to love?
(Ohmymercy this one about killed me!)

Mother Liberty
by Liz Garton Scanlon

She’s in her robe, her torch held high
above her like a kettlebell,
held high in case someone stops by,
decides he wants to sit a spell
beside the harbor, rest his eyes
beneath her matriarchal swell.

She’s strong, her arm unwavering.
She’s practiced for this all her life,
held high the weight of everything –
the dreams, the hopeful flights from strife.
She’s never flinched, just said, “Please bring
them all,” until her shores were rife

with us, she made us feel at home.
She called us family, said, “Stay!”
We didn’t answer when she phoned.
We all got busy, moved away,
did well, grew rich, left her alone,
her torch arm tired, still in play.

Please go see other poems in this very particular, vexing style here:


And more poems of all stripes at Poetry Friday here.

Be well.

Posted on 07/07/2017 04:27 am


  1. Wow! Well done! I would have totally flubbed this challenge. You handled it beautifully. You matched the rhyme and the meter with a lady….who I am absolutely obsessed with these days as I look at my compatriot siblings and wonder about all the squabbles our Liberty Mother is tired of solving. I think the last stanza about taking Mother Liberty for granted…moving away, not calling is heartfelt. It hits me right where I’ve been aching for several months now. Great job with this.


  2. Irene Latham

    Please bring them all, indeed! Mother Liberty would be right pleased with your poem. Lovely (and yes, what a challenge!)


  3. You had me at “kettlebell.” (Such a perfect, modern image of weight.) .And how much do I love that you praise a Lady who is already idealized and make her…well…human? (Answer: burning torch of bright love!) I’ll never look at that uplifted arm in the same way again.


  4. Sometimes I think of those words, “Bring me your tired” and wonder if Lady Liberty is tired, too. You’ve shown her feelings beautifully in this. She does carry on, and so must we! “She’s never flinched, just said, “Please bring/them all,” I hope that we will listen!


  5. Oh! The kettlebell image made me laugh, and then I got to:

    She’s practiced for this all her life,
    held high the weight of everything –
    the dreams, the hopeful flights from strife.

    This is just beautiful, Liz. And how you captured the way we take her for granted now…laughter and tears in one poem.


  6. I had to look up kettlebell. Clearly I don’t go to gyms enough. Now I will be picturing Lady Liberty hitting the treadmill and doing yoga. She would look fetching in yoga pants, I get. I’m so enjoying making her part of our modern life.


  7. Although “her torch arm tired,” I’m glad it’s “still in play.” and we need to keep it that way–especially right now, we need to open our doors again to all, and allow those here to stay! Thank you for your moving poem of our Lady Liberty! I’ve been weaving her in and out of poems and art since the election and before.


  8. Yessss! I love this one. I think the lofty sentiments of the original poem just seem to point to an august woman… and here she is – kettlebells, weary arm, uplifted maternal head and all.

    I just love her.


  9. Kelly Ramsdell

    I really adore this line “held high the weight of everything” – isn’t that what women do?


  10. What a perfect poem for the week of July 4th. I love the second stanza of this poem. Well, the entire thing really and the message it sends. I agree with Linda and often wonder if she’s weary, not of her role, but of how the souls who come to us are being treated. I see unwavering strength in this poem, and in you. Thank you for gifting us this poem.

    Enjoy your time in Vermont!


  11. I hope one day that I will be able to see Lady Liberty in the flesh too, and see her standing with her quiet strength and grace.


  12. Mary Lee Hahn

    What everyone else said. Your brilliance began with the title, where she went from Lady to Mother. And then that last stanza. Let’s not take her for granted for a single minute longer.


  13. Liz, this poem and the image bring the spirit of freedom to life. Adding the kettlebell to the poem brought to mind more than muscle strength-the strength of character, purpose, and the pursuit of all that Lady Liberty symbolizes. I will be passing by her grand profile this afternoon and will remember the poem you created to give her tribute.


  14. Stopping by for the first time–this is so clever and beautiful. The last stanza really got me–the forgotten mother image. Hit me in the gut, in a good, emotional, poignant way. So well done!


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