Friday, May 02, 2008

Emma Lazarus's The New Colossus


Emma Lazarus (July 22, 1849 - November 19, 1887) was an American poet. She wrote
"The New Colossus" in 1883, that is now engraved on a bronze plaque on a wall in the base
of the Statue of Liberty.

The New Colossus

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!"

Paul Auster wrote that
"Bartholdi's gigantic effigy was originally intended as a monument to the principles of
international republicanism, but 'The New Colossus' reinvented the statue's purpose,
turning Liberty into a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope to the outcasts and downtrodden
of the world".




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