Friday, October 8, 2010

Emma's Poem - Linda Glaser

The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2010
32 pages
Rating: 4.5
Endpapers: Dark blue with facsimile of "The New Colossus" written in Emma Lazarus's hand.

In simple verse, this book tells the story of affluent Emma Lazarus, raised in NYC in the latter part of the 19th century, a "fervent humanitarian" who helped and cared about the immigrants passing through Ward's Island in New York Harbor.

When France gave American the gift of the Statue of Liberty, Emma wrote her famous poem "The New Colossus" to help pay for the base of the huge memorial. ***NOTE: Apparently, the Statue of Liberty weas never intended as a beacon for new immigrants - it was Emma Lazarus's poem that ignited that particular flame!

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-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

An excellent book with lovely illustrations. For any and all families interested in American history and human kindness.

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