"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddle masses yearning to breathe free..."
My heart was filled with excitement and I felt a knot of my throat while I was reading Emma's Poem The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser. This book moved me in so many ways. As you know, I teach English Language Learners who family came to our country with hopes of better education and a new beginning. Emm'as Poem is the story about Emma Lazarus who in 1883 wrote a poem that would change this nation.
But who was Emma Lazarus you may wonder...
Emma Lazarus, born in 1849 in New York City. The daughter of a wealthy Jewish family who found a passion for writing from an early age. She wrote poems, stories and article and quickly became a well-known writer in society. Emma Lazarus is the writer behind the amazing poem "The New Colossus" which is nowadays engraved inside an entryway to the statue's pedestal.
How did Emma Lazarus found inspiration for this poem you may wonder...
And that is what this book is all about. Linda Glaser shares with us the story behind Emma Lazarus and this meaning that the poem "The New Colossus" had for her. The paintings of this book created by Claire A. Nivola go pefectly with this book, especially the one created for the front cover.
The publication of this book came at a perfect timing as we all witness the changes that bill 1070 brought to Arizona and the painful consequences that those actions could carry to English Language Learners there. The author's note in the back of the book reads,
" Emma Lazarus strongly believed that if immigrants received job training and education they would contribute to society."
I hope you find this book as powerful and hopeful as I did because at this point that is exactly what we all need: HOPE. Hope that things will be done differently, hope that when we make decisions we keep in mind the integrity of the human being.
Enjoy the Journey.