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Day 7 of Jewish American Heritage Month: Write a poem

American Jews have produced a rich variety of poetry, including Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” Robert Pinsky’s tributes to baseball, and Adrienne Rich’s feminist and lesbian fury. A notable example is Emma Lazarus, a New York Jew and early Zionist of Sephardic descent who wrote the sonnet “The New Colossus” in 1883 at age 34, shortly after witnessing the Russian pogroms. If you don’t recognize the title, how about the lines: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” They appeared on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903, 16 years after her death. Compose your own poem on Smith Mag’s online Six Words on Jewish Life page. You can also read a compilation of its best submissions, including Nora Ephron’s words of wisdom: “Secret to life: marry an Italian.”

ADVERTISEMENT: Come explore the blessings and challenges of freedom at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia.NMAJH.org

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