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Lady Liberty Poster

P101 Lady LibertyThis title shows America’s most famous lady accompanied by the full text of the poem The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus (1849-1887). She wrote it in 1883 to help raise money for the Statue of Liberty pedestal. It is now inscribed on a plaque hanging inside that pedestal. Below the sonnet, on the poster, a small caption presents the story behind it.

Author John T. 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 statue." However, it was Lazarus’s poem that permanently stamped on Lady Liberty the role of unofficial greeter of incoming immigrants..

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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