As the biographer of Lola Ridge, (Anything That Burns You/Schaffner Press), I would like to offer one of her early poems, “Debris.” Written over a hundred years ago, it captures the feeling of betrayal that many immigrants have after encountering the realities of life in the U.S.
I love those spirits
That men stand off and point at,
Or shudder and hood up their souls—
Those ruined ones,
Where Liberty has lodged an hour
And passed like flame,
Bursting asunder the too small house.
Lola Ridge (1874-1941)