Poet laureate writes tribute for Statue of Liberty Museum

Singer Tony Bennett performs at the Statue of Liberty Museum opening celebration at Battery Park on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Ev

Singer Tony Bennett performs at the Statue of Liberty Museum opening celebration at Battery Park on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Ev

NEW YORK (AP) — At a time when families have been separated at the Mexican border and children placed in cages, the country's poet laureate is invoking an old and welcoming spirit for those seeking to live in the United States.

Tracy K. Smith's "Harbor," commissioned for this week's opening of the Statue of Liberty Museum, is partly modeled on Emma Lazarus' "The New Colossus" and its immortal beckoning to "your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." In "Harbor," Smith invites the arriving "Stranger" to "Be my guest. Drink tea, taste fruit and bread."

Smith, 47, was appointed to a one-year term in 2017 by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, and was reappointed as poet laureate last year.