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Quiz about Emma Lazarus  The New Colossus
Quiz about Emma Lazarus  The New Colossus

Emma Lazarus - 'The New Colossus' Quiz

What the Statue of Liberty means.

'The New Colossus' was written to help fund construction of a plinth for the Statue of Liberty.

by Isipingo. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Quiz #
Jul 08 24
# Qns
Avg Score
13 / 14
Last 3 plays: wycat (14/14), vlk56pa (14/14), Peachie13 (14/14).
Not like the giant of Greek fame,
With conquering astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset shall stand
A mighty woman with a , whose flame
Is the imprisoned , and her name
Mother of . From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her eyes command
The air-bridged harbour that cities frame.
"Keep, lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled yearning to breathe free,
The wretched of your teaming shore.
Send these, the , tempest-tost to me,
I lift my beside the golden door!"
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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts

Emma Lazarus was born in New York on 22nd July, 1849 and died there on 19th November, 1887, possibly from Hodgkins Lymphoma. She never married. Her ancestors were among 23 Portuguese Jews who arrived in New Amsterdam after they fled from Recife in Brazil to escape from the Spanish Inquisition. Her family was wealthy and she was educated privately. She studied American and British Literature as well as several languages including French, German and Italian.

She wrote her first poem aged 11 and a collection of her work - influenced by the American Civil War - called 'Poems and Translations', was published in 1867. Another major influence on her work was Ralph Waldo Emerson, a philosopher, abolitionist and poet who was seen as a champion of individualism and critical thought. One of her volumes of poetry was dedicated to him.

Her family were Orthodox Jews but did not have much interest in their synagogue. She became interested in her Jewish ancestry after hearing of the plight of refugees in New York. After the assassination of Tsar Nicholas ll in 1881, thousands of Ashkenazi Jews left Russia to escape anti-semitic violence, persecution, and bad living conditions in the Russian Pale of Settlement. She helped establish the Hebrew Technical Institute which provided vocational training to help the refugees become self-supporting. In 1883 she founded the Society for the Improvement and Colonisation of Eastern European Jews.

Between 1882 and 1887 she translated Hebrew poems of Medieval Spain and wrote articles, signed and unsigned, on Jewish subjects. She was a keen supporter of Jewish repatriation to Palestine. Some of her translations were used in American synagogues. Her 'Songs of a Semite' is considered to be the earliest volume of Jewish American poetry.

'The New Colossus' was written in 1883 and donated to an auction in aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty. Bartholdi was the designer of the statue. The statue had been built but money to complete the pedestal was running out. A drive for donations to help attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom donated less than one dollar.

The Statue of Liberty was the idea of Eduard Labulage, a French abolitionist and was meant as a gift to show the friendship between France and America. It was intended to symbolize freedom and an end to slavery after the Civil War. An early draft of the statue shows her holding shackles in her hand. The shackles are now at her feet and only visible from the air.

The designer, Bartholdi was inspired by The Colossus of Rhodes - an ancient statue of the Sun God, Helios whose legs straddled a harbour. The two cities referred to in the poem were New York and Brooklyn, which were actually separate cities when the poem was written.

Emma Lazarus had been asked to write the poem because of her feelings about immigration and freedom of the oppressed. Immigrants to America were greeted by the magnificent Lady Liberty and both the statue and the poem became associated with immigration rather than slavery.

The Statue of Liberty was dedicated by Grover Cleveland on 28th October, 1886. In 1903, a bronze plaque of 'The New Colossus' poem was cast and installed inside the pedestal's lower level.

Emma Lazarus's home on West 10th Street was included on a map of Women's Rights Historic sites and in 2009 she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. In 2002 an exhibition of her work was staged by the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Source: Author Isipingo

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