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Jewish Women on the Map - Statue of Liberty - Emma Lazarus' poem "The New Colossus"

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Statue of Liberty - Emma Lazarus' poem "The New Colossus" New York City, NY
United States

Heralded as the eighth wonder of the world when erected in 1886, "Liberty Enlightening the World" by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was the tallest structure in the City and the tallest statue in the world. With a "skin" the width of only two pennies, the statue is supported by an extensive steel frame designed by Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame.

Etched on a bronze plaque on the inner walls of the statue's pedestal is this famous poem by Emma Lazarus:

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!"

See also: Emma Lazarus in Women of Valor; Emma Lazarus in Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia; "Emma Lazarus' Audacity of Hope" in Jewesses With Attitude.

Type: 
Official marker (memorial, statue, gravestone, plaque, etc.)
Rights: 
Creative Commons (attribution)

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Statue of Liberty - Emma Lazarus' poem "The New Colossus"." (Viewed on April 18, 2014) <http://jwa.org/onthemap/statue-of-liberty-emma-lazarus-poem-new-colossus>.