The New Colossus

Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus was an American poet and essayist. She is best known for the sonnet entitled "The New Colossus" she wrote in 1883. The poem is engraved inside the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in New York.

Following the immigration wave of the early 1880’s, she stood for persecuted Jews and for Judaism. She also began to work for the relief of immigrants.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. "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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

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