A Poem for Hanukkah

Flowers For Socrates

Emma Lazarus  (1849-1887) is now remembered for her poem The New Colossus, enshrined in the base of the Statue of Liberty, which contains the lines, so often quoted when immigration is talked about in America: “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 was born in New York City on July 22 in 1849, the year that outgoing U.S. President James K. Polk became the first president to have his photograph taken while in office, incoming President Zachary Taylor refused to take his oath of office on a Sunday, and thousands of ‘49ers’ were joining the California Gold Rush. Lazarus was born into a large and prosperous Sephardic Jewish family, the fourth of seven children. She became a prolific writer and…

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