The New Colossus Poem by Emma Lazarus

The New Colossus Poem by Emma Lazarus
Emma Lazarus

The New Colossus is a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–1887), written in 1883. In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Emma Lazarus (July 22, 1849 – November 19, 1887) was an American poet born in New York City. She is best known for The New Colossus its lines appear inscribed on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty installed in 1903, a decade and a half after Lazarus’s death.

The New Colossus Poem by Emma Lazarus
The New Colossus Poem by Emma Lazarus

The New Colossus poem was written as a donation to an auction of art and literary works conducted by the “Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty” to raise money for the pedestal’s construction. Lazarus’s contribution was solicited by fundraiser William Maxwell Evarts. Initially she refused but Constance Cary Harrison convinced her that the statue would be of great significance to immigrants sailing into the harbor. The poem has entered the political realm, being quoted in John F. Kennedy’s 1958 book A Nation of Immigrants as well as a 2010 political speech by President Obama advocating immigration policy reform.

The New Colossus Poem by Emma Lazarus is very inspirational. Therefore sharing with you. Let us know your thought’s on it.

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!”

– The New Colossus Poem by Emma Lazarus


  1. I continue to Follow your blog with interest. I have published (other people’s) poetry.
    I invite you to look at today’s mostly


  2. I do not typically read poems (just hasn’t crossed my mind since having to do so in school), but reading this post and the poem made me realize how beautifully eloquent and packed with meaning they are/can be. And it is a nice reminder of what the United States symbolized back then and even now- a land of immigrants.


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