Poem Essay

5-7 Pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, MLA citations

In 1903 the following famous poem by Emma Lazarus was engraved and placed upon the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Think about this poems message. Did immigrants experiences reflect the hope and promise of this poem?

The New Colossus
By Emma Lazarus
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!”

In order to prepare and write this essay effectively, please address the following:

  1. What is the message of this poem?
    Click on this link to help you analyze the poem. After clicking on the link, click on the Commentary tab to learn about the meaning of the poem.
  2. Which immigrants experiences reflected the message of the poem? Provide specific examples from the readings, films, assignments, and Module Content.
  3. Which immigrants experiences did not reflect the message of the poem? Provide specific examples from the readings, films, assignments, and Module Content.

Following is a recommended template for writing the essay that you may use if you wish. Parts 2 and 3 can have as many paragraphs as you wish.

Part 1: Introductory paragraph

  1. State your thesis. For example: The poem The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus promises hope for immigrants coming to America, but did America really live up to the promise of this poem?
  2. Explain the meaning of the poem
  3. Let the reader know where you stand on this question. Did immigrants experiences reflect the promises of the poem or not. Or did some immigrants have different experiences than others? Make sure your ending sentence lets the reader know what you plan to argue. Remember you do not have to choose one side or the other, you can argue that both sides are true if you wish.

Part 2: How did America live up to the poems promises? Provide specific examples

Part 3: How did America fail to live up the poems promises? Provide specific examples

Part 4: Closing paragraph. Restate your introduction in different words and make a final pronouncement about what the promise of the poem really meant for immigrants.