The Poems of Emma Lazarus, Vol. II [ePub]

by Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus (1849-1887) was an American poet. She is best known for writing The New Colossus, a sonnet written in 1883, that is now engraved on a bronze plaque on a wall in the base of the Statue of Liberty. She studied American and European literature, as well as German, French, and Italian. Her writings attracted the attention of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who corresponded with her up until his death. She wrote her own original poems and edited many adaptations of German and Italian poems, notably those of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Heinrich Heine. She also wrote a novel and two plays. Lazarus' latent Judaism was awakened after reading the George Eliot novel, Daniel Deronda, and this was further strengthened by the Russian pogroms in the early 1880s. This led Lazarus to write articles on the subject and to begin translating the works of Jewish poets into English. She is known as an important forerunner of the Zionist movement. In fact, she argued for the creation of a Jewish homeland thirteen years before Herzl began to use the term Zionism.



Back to Top