The New Colossus

The New Colossus on bronze plague - poet Emma Lazarus

The New Colossus on bronze plague – poet Emma Lazarus


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!”

~ Emma Lazarus ~


‘The New Colossus’ was written by Emma Lazarus. Created in 1883 for The Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island, New York City, New York, U.S.. At first Emma refused but Constance Cary Harrison convinced her that the statue would be of great significance to immigrants sailing into the harbor. “The New Colossus” was the first entry read at the exhibit’s opening, but was forgotten and played no role at the opening of the statue in 1886. In 1901, Lazarus’s friend Georgina Schuyler began an effort to memorialize Lazarus and her poem, which succeeded. The text of the Sonnet was engraved on a bronze plaque in 1903 and mounted inside the monument on the inner wall of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.