Emma Lazarus’ poem “The New Colossus” is perhaps the most famous literary work associated with the Statue of Liberty in New York City. The poem was written in 1883 as part of a fundraising effort for the pedestal of the statue, and was later inscribed on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the statue’s pedestal.
The poem’s most famous lines, “Give me your tired, your poor, / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” have come to symbolize the idea of America as a refuge for immigrants and a land of opportunity. The poem describes the Statue of Liberty as a “mighty woman with a torch,” whose beacon of hope shines across the seas to welcome immigrants to the United States.
The poem was not widely known or celebrated in its own time, but has come to be seen as a powerful statement of America’s commitment to welcoming immigrants and providing them with a new home and a better life. It has been referenced in countless political speeches and debates, and continues to inspire people around the world to this day.
“The New Colossus” is a testament to the long-lasting power of poetry to capture the spirit of a nation and to inspire people to strive for a better future.