In after-dinner conversation at his home near VersaillesLaboulaye, an ardent supporter of the Union in the American Civil Waris supposed to have said: In order to honor these achievements, Laboulaye proposed that a gift be built for the United States on behalf of France. Laboulaye hoped that by calling attention to the recent achievements of the United States, the French people would be inspired to call for their own democracy in the face of a repressive monarchy.
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! The title of the poem and the first two lines refer to the Colossus of Rhodesone of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Worldsometimes described as standing astride the harbor.
The "sea-washed, sunset gates" are the mouths of the Hudson and East Rivers, to the west of Brooklyn. The "imprisoned lightning" refers to the electric light in the torch, then a novelty.
The "air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame" refers to New York Harbor between New York City and Brooklynwhich were consolidated into one unit in15 years after the poem was written. The "huddled masses" are the many immigrants coming to the United States many of them through Ellis Island at the port of New York.
Influence[ edit ] Bronze plaque inside the Statue of Liberty Paul Auster wrote that "Bartholdi's gigantic effigy was originally intended as a monument to the principles of international republicanismbut 'The New Colossus' reinvented the statue's purpose, turning Liberty into a welcoming mother, a symbol of hope to the outcasts and downtrodden of the world.
Cunningham wrote that "The Statue of Liberty was not conceived and sculpted as a symbol of immigration, but it quickly became so as immigrant ships passed under the torch and the shining face, heading toward Ellis Island. However, it was [Lazarus's poem] that permanently stamped on Miss Liberty the role of unofficial greeter of incoming immigrants.
It was quoted in John F. Kennedy 's book A Nation of Immigrants  as well as a political speech by President Obama advocating immigration policy reform.
The Broadway musical Miss Libertywith music and lyrics by Irving Berlinan immigrant himself, used the final stanza beginning "Give me your tired, your poor" as the basis for a song.In "The New Colossus," Lazarus contrasts the soon-to-be installed symbol of the United States with what many consider the perfect symbol of the Greek and Roman era, the Colossus of Rhodes.
Her comparison proved appropriate, for Bartholdi himself created the Statue of Liberty with the well-known Colossus in mind. The year was when Emma Lazarus, a young, high society New York poet and the descendant of Jewish immigrants, was asked for a favor.
Fundraising efforts were underway for a pedestal to hold. Debates over immigration dominate today’s newspaper headlines and political campaigns.
These debates may be new in some of their particular concerns (the border with Mexico, Islamist terrorism), but many of the questions raised and arguments presented would have been deeply familiar to a .
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The Statue of Liberty, that enduring symbol of freedom, which has welcomed immigrants to the US since it was opened in , has seen a surge in visitors since the election of US president Donald.
Since , when the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty, "The New Colossus" has helped to shape our sense of the statue as a symbol of hope for millions of immigrants.