The New Colossus

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The New Colossus is a Petrarchan sonnet written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus. It is engraved on a plaque at the Statue of Liberty. The work is often times promoted by the media as a policy statement about immigration, however it is nothing more than an aspirational poem.[1] The complete text is as follows:

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 worldwide 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!"