Emma Lazarus

Poet Emma Lazarus

Profession: Poet

Nationality:
United States of America
American

Biography: Best known for 'The New Colossus', a sonnet written in 1883 to raise money for the Statue of Liberty. In 1903 its lines were cast on a bronze plaque and placed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

The poem along with the Statue of Liberty has become synonymous with immigration to America and its most famous lines are often quoted in popular culture:

"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!"

Born: July 22, 1849
Birthplace: NYC, New York, USA
Star Sign: Cancer

Died: November 19, 1887 (aged 38)
Cause of Death: Most likely from Hodgkin's lymphoma

Historical Events

  • 1884-07-04 Statue of Liberty presented to US in Paris
  • 1884-08-05 Cornerstone for Statue of Liberty laid on Bedloe's Island (NYC)
  • 1885-06-17 Statue of Liberty arrives in NYC aboard French ship `Isere'
  • 1885-08-11 $100,000 raised in US for pedestal for Statue of Liberty
  • 1886-10-28 Statue of Liberty dedicated by US President Grover Cleveland, celebrated by first confetti (ticker tape) parade in New York City

Quotes 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-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


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