“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting with the gift of speech.”
- Simonides of Ceos

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

"The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus

American born, Jewish poet, Emma Lazarus wrote this now famous sonnet in 1883 for the purpose of aiding the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty as Lazarus notes on the original manuscript of the poem (pictured below). Unfortunately, she never saw the poem enshrined on Liberty Island as the plaque bearing the poem's text was not affixed to the pedestal wall until 1903; over a decade and a half after Lazarus' death in 1887. The title of the poem is a reference to the Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the Greek sun-god, which was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.

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Program Credits

Announcer: Thomas Lamar
Narrator: Nicole Rodrigues
Composer: Conner Savoca
Sound Design & Mixing: Andrew Riffenburgh
Photography: Kevin Connors
Producer/Director: J.D. Sutter

Entry on Wikipedia for "The New Colossus"
Entry on Wikipedia for Emma Lazarus
Emma Lazarus's Bio on the Poetry Foundation
Summary, Analysis, & Historical Context of "The New Colossus"
Shorter Analysis from InterestingLiterature.com
A Brief History of Liberty State Park

Emma Lazarus circa December 1871
Image Credit: Wikipedia

"The New Colossus" by 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!"

New Colossus manuscript Lazarus.jpg
By Emma Lazarus (1883 manuscript) - http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/haventohome/images/hh0041s.jpg Library of Congress, Public Domain, Link