James Russell LowellJames Russell Lowell, (1819-1891) American author and diplomatist

James Russell Lowell Quote

“True freedom is to share
All the chains our brothers wear
And, with heart and hand, to be
Earnest to make others free.”

James Russell LowellJames Russell Lowell
~ James Russell Lowell

Stanzas on Freedom, 1843

Ratings and Comments

Rachael, Hanoverton

I believe that this quote will stay true forever.

Hannah, Quebec

what does it mean? what does the entire poem mean? i need an interpretation!

Maddie, California


  • Reply
    Anonymous    5/27/09

    to help others out by doing that youre actually helping yourself thats wut it means

    Mike, Norwalk

    If an injustice is done to one, it is done to all. When the individual sovereign offers charity from the heart, not coerced, all benefit. This really fits those individuals I've met while giving aid in disaster relief efforts, those patriots I've met in the courts fighting unconstitutional injustice and, police beating people for no reason.

    Waffler, Smith

    to be free of the Big Self is what I guess is what you are saying Mike. Only a three because of lack of clarity like most poetry. Those who want interpretation beware of who you pick to interpret.

    Justin, Elkland

    He is speaking of the american abolition of slavery movement. The sharing of chains is not literal but speaks to empathy. The last line is an appeal to not only support the movement ideologically but to act against slavery. Five stars for saying so much with such economy of words. Hopefully we can abolish slavery in America before this poem is 200 years old, though we are currently heading in the wrong direction.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Defending the rights of your brethren is tantamount to defending rights in general and it keeps us all a little safer from tyranny.

    Bob, Eugene OR

    A good-sized gun helps too.

    • Reply
    Anon    5/29/09

    Waffler, you should take your own advice.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Right you are Bob.

    Carly Shay, midland

    Amazing quotes he has (;

    Tashriq al-Milla, Greeley

    Don't accept privileges at the cost of other's freedom. Don't be seduced by the mob. Don't spit at Jews in Germany for fear the Gestapo will suspect you of being pro-Israel. Don't accuse land-owners and bankers for fear the Soviets will send you to the Gulag. Don't cheer when you get health benefits and student loans and cheap mortgages, by denigrating loan companies, picketing outside the family homes of bankers, and closing newspapers and radio broadcasts. Don't kick a man when he's down, even when it's to your benefit; help him up, even if you suffer in the process.

    Georgia Hudson, Little Rock Arkansas

    I kike this porm my Daughter and I would like to do this in a videl that would be great for the world.


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