Long Island Sound

By Emma Lazarus 1849–1887 Emma Lazarus
I see it as it looked one afternoon
In August,— by a fresh soft breeze o’erblown.
The swiftness of the tide, the light thereon,
A far-off sail, white as a crescent moon.
The shining waters with pale currents strewn,
The quiet fishing-smacks, the Eastern cove,
The semi-circle of its dark, green grove.
The luminous grasses, and the merry sun
In the grave sky; the sparkle far and wide,
Laughter of unseen children, cheerful chirp
Of crickets, and low lisp of rippling tide,
Light summer clouds fantastical as sleep   
Changing unnoted while I gazed thereon.
All these fair sounds and sights I made my own.

Source: She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century (University of Iowa Press, 1997)

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Poet Emma Lazarus 1849–1887

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Summer, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 Emma  Lazarus

Biography

Emma Lazarus was born in New York City to a wealthy family and educated by private tutors. She began writing poetry as a teenager and took up the cause — through both poetry and prose — against the persecution of Jews in Russia during the 1880s. Lines from her sonnet “The New Colossus” were engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903, memorializing the famous lines, “Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Landscapes & Pastorals, Summer, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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