The New Colossus Poem Summary, Notes And Line By Line Analysis In English By Emma Lazarus


The poem depicts the “new colossus” as a patron saint of immigrants rather than a representation of military strength by drawing comparisons between the Statue of Liberty and the classical Greek Colossus of Rhodes. The statue’s function and the poem’s upbeat, unironic tone present an idealized view of America’s position on the global stage as an immigrant-welcomer and guardian.

About The Poet

Emma Lazarus, a New Yorker by birth, released a book of poems while she was still a teen. Lazarus enjoyed composing poetry, reading American and British literature, and penning several articles on a variety of subjects. Sadly, Lazarus had away in 1887, sixteen years before to the engraving of her most well-known poem on the Statue of Liberty.

Lines 1-8

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.

The Statue of Liberty is not like the boastful giant of Greek legend, who rode from country to shore on triumphant wings; rather, she is a powerful lady standing at the sea-washed, sunset gates with a torch whose flame is the captured lightning and who is known as the Mother of Exiles. A warm, welcome energy emanates from her beacon hand, and the air-bridged port that twin cities frame is under her gentle gaze.

Lines 9-14

“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!”

She shouts out, “Keep, ancient countries, your storied pomp!” with clenched lips. She offers to take care of the worn-out, underprivileged, and huddled masses yearning for freedom, as well as the despicable refuse of the teeming shore (imprisonment) . She raised her lamp next to the golden door and command the destitute to come to her protective care.