I'm in 10th grade English, and for my assignment I have to highlight three sentences in this excerpt in The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus.

... "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

I have to highlight passive voice, active voice, and parallelism. For active voice, I've highlighted sentence three, for parallelism, I've highlighted sentence one. Is sentence two active voice? I don't fully understand what the sentence means I guess.

If anybody can point me in the right direction that would be greatly appreciated.

  • 3
    There are only three sentences in this extract, two in imperative mood (active voice) and one in active voice. Aug 25, 2017 at 17:11
  • 2
    It's a poem, so the capitalization and punctuation is by lines, not by sentences.There are only 3 sentences here; the second one begins with Send, and the third with I. None of them are passive; all of them are active, so that's easy. As for parallelism, it's all over the place -- look at all those appositive phrases and clauses. Aug 25, 2017 at 17:11
  • @JohnLawler Thanks, I have a feeling I read the directions wrong, since they definitely said to highlight sentences, and it isn't a trick question. Should I close/delete this question? Aug 25, 2017 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


It may not be a trick question, but it appears to be an incompetent one. "Tempest tossed" is passive, but it is not a sentence. As someone said, this is poetry. A prose version might read

"Send me those who are homeless or who are tossed by the tempests of life."

In that prose sentence, it is clear that "who are tossed" is a clause (not a sentence) with a passive verb. In the poetry, the passive clause gets abbreviated into a technically passive phrase, but rhetorically "tempest tossed" sounds active (violent even).

  • 'Tired' is also a passive participle phrase being used as an NP. Only true verb phrases have voice.
    – AmI
    Aug 25, 2017 at 21:34

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