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Analysis and comments on I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou

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Comment 120 of 330, added on April 20th, 2008 at 9:25 AM.

Doing an essay on this poem. I'm very knowledgable about the poem but verse
4 is very hard. Can someone analyse it for me or at least tell me what
trade winds is?

Aimee from United Kingdom
Comment 119 of 330, added on April 19th, 2008 at 6:34 AM.

I have read this poem many times and never thought it had anything to do
with race. I read the book also. I think its about being inhibited in one
way or another. Here the author is trying to explain process of drowning.
There is no need to tell how or why the person got into the water or what
he need to do to get. What she does offer is two people in the water. One
can swim and one cant. She doesn't offer a solution for the cage bird, just
the status of his being. Its the plight of the cage bird that important
here. Its any body story.In the end its not about the cause or solution its
about being. They won't put it on her TOMB so i wil say it here....MAYA
ANGELOU is greatest poet of our tim. Her ability to convey both thoughts
and emotions through words i think is unequal. Just my opinion.

Grant from United States
Comment 118 of 330, added on March 19th, 2008 at 9:19 AM.

I had read this poem many times and admired it for its literary genius and
symbolism. I came across it again recently, and it has taken on a whole
new meaning for me, as I am going through a period of major depression. I
can relate my pain and dispair with the caged bird, and know that I have to
break free of the "cage" of depression so that I can again "leap on the
back of the wind." Thank you, Maya, for giving me a way to see what I need
to do.

Annie from United States
Comment 117 of 330, added on March 10th, 2008 at 12:02 AM.

In the poem "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", by Maya Angelou, the author
tells a tale of sorrow, and desire, comparing a free bird to a caged bird.
The beautifully written poem opens your eyes to the sad truth about
segregation, through a wonderful blend of similes, metaphors, rhyme,
repetition and assonance. This poem has a deeper meaning that is the
ongoing plight to end the racial segregation in the United States.
Maya Angelou expresses in her poem two opposite lives living in the same
society, with the free and caged bird. White people represent a free bird
able to "[leap] on the back of wind", and do as he, or she chooses. The
line "The free bird thinks of ... the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright
law and names the sky his own" demonstrates that most of the white society
cares more about their wealth and very little about the black community's
oppression. Angelou also implies that black citizens of the United States
are very much like a caged bird, "his wings are clipped and his feet are
tied..." except for that the bars on a black citizens cage, that restrict
him from the joys of freedom and give him a "grave of dreams", are not made
of cheap metal or plastic, but of racist oppression, discrimination, and
segregation. Because of the caged bird's oppression, "[he] sings with a
fearful trill of things unknown and longed for still", like how civil
rights activists wrote papers, gave speeches, and organized protests for
equal rights in America so no citizen felt as if he was in a cage.
When Angelou says that the black citizen's "tune is heard on a distant
hill," her message is that the white society is can hear their cries for
equality but only faintly. Finally in her last line of the poem, she says,
"for the caged bird sings of freedom", she means that the plight for
equality is slowly improving, but is nowhere near the end, and the only way
to get to the end is to make everyone aware of this social injustice.
Angelou believes in equality for all of mankind and declares through her
poem that even though there are social injustices in life, hope and
persistence can lessen, and eventually get rid of segregation. This poem
tries to show that even though the free bird and the caged bird are still
birds, one is free and the other is a prisoner, despite that they both
deserve freedom and the opportunity to be happy.

Jana from New Zealand
Comment 116 of 330, added on February 24th, 2008 at 11:18 PM.

If you look up Maya Angelou's biography then you will know even deeper
about what this poem means!!

Cassie from United States
Comment 115 of 330, added on February 24th, 2008 at 11:40 AM.

this poem tells me about the life of a caged bird and the life of a free
bird and if i ever have a bird, i will not put it in a cage, but set it
free, even though it is hard to let your pet go. If you really love your
pet, you would do that.

Zenoa Hinds - Lewis from United States
Comment 114 of 330, added on February 11th, 2008 at 10:07 PM.

i loved this poem it help me understand things in life
better

cinnamon jackson
Comment 113 of 330, added on February 11th, 2008 at 2:59 PM.

i luv thiz peom only thing bout it iz that i dont understand thiz poem u
need a little mo details so that mean u need to rewrite thiz poem so that
people can understand it mo

jasman williams from United States
Comment 112 of 330, added on December 10th, 2007 at 5:11 PM.

This poem is one of my greatest admirations. It is simply moving.It is
wonderful how she gives the peom such extravagent energy. Using the bird to
emphasise her point is somewhat genius!

Paco from Spain
Comment 111 of 330, added on September 16th, 2007 at 9:24 PM.

well done maya well done..if your goal was to raise awareness and spread
your caged bird's message..rest assured you have done that..thanks to your
insightful poem you have made sure that you are not the only one who knows
why the caged bird sings..well done

Shane Ninai from Papua New Guinea

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Information about I know why the caged bird sings

Poet: Maya Angelou
Poem: I know why the caged bird sings
Added: Feb 27 2004
Viewed: 5712 times
Poem of the Day: May 8 2007


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