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Quarter 2 Poetry Introduction Example for “The New Colossus”

In Examples on November 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm

11-sentence paragraph written in third person

Note:  Double click on the title so you can see the bibliography correctly formatted; it also makes it easier to read when it’s not in this thin column.

Because “The New Colossus” uses specific literary devices, is very well-known, and stimulates thinking in students, it is a good poem to share with the class during Quarter 2. First, Emma Lazarus used many examples of literary elements, including a very controlled rhyme scheme and personification. Her poem is written in the Italian sonnet form, which is a 14-line poem that follows the rhyme scheme abbaabbacdcdcd. The poem also has an example of personification when it says, “’Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she / With silent lips”; students know what personification is, but it’s always good to show more examples. Additionally, the poem is very well-known in the United States. It is engraved on a plaque under the main entrance to the Statue of Liberty, and many people have visited Lady Liberty. This poem has also appeared in many textbooks throughout the years as well as in books of poetry. Furthermore, this poem is a good poem to use to encourage students to think about how immigration was viewed a century ago and how it is viewed now. Students use lines from the poem as a springboard to consider whether they think immigrants really did find the “golden door” discussed in the poem and if the lines of the poem are still an accurate way to reflect people’s attitudes today. Many students are surprised to find out that immigration issues were present more than 100 years ago. This poem, on the whole, is a great poem to show students for both academic and social reasons and fits well with American Studies.

Lazarus, Emma. “The New Colossus.” From Here to There: The Immigrant

      Experience. Logan, IA: Perfection Learning, 2000. 15.

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