The New Colossus By Emma Lazarus Essay
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! “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!
In July 1941, a New York Times article about one such memorial said: When Miss Lazarus wrote her poem, there were few who wished to dim the torch. Our help and encouragement must go overseas to them.
Millions were yet to come overseas, to sweat in mill, mine and factory, to climb upward in the democratic whirl and dust. But we will have fallen from our high estate if there is not still a welcome here for the bravest and the hardest-pressed.
In 1865, French abolitionist Edouard de Laboulaye proposed the construction of a monument for the US to mark the end of the US civil war and institutionalized slavery.
Lazarus conjured her own myth for the monument: She imagined the statue as a goddess called the Mother of Exiles, who welcomes the poor and tired looking for freedom, guiding the way with her lamp.
Lazarus was devoted to the cause of Russian-Jewish refugees, and felt strongly that the settled and more established Jews in the US had a responsibility to help downtrodden newcomers.
”These lines were published in 1883 as part of efforts to fund-raise for the statue’s completion.
Today it is as deeply ingrained in American identity as the national anthem.