Almost didn't write the poem
THE POEM that assured her place in history was almost not written. In 1883, well-known American writers and artists were asked to contribute works that would be sold at auction for the benefit of the statue. Miss Lazarus was asked to contribute, along with Walt Whitman and Mark' Twain. At first she declined, explaining she wasn't able to write to order. But two days later, she wrote "The New Colossus," containing the lines:' "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!"