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

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Comment 138 of 548, added on April 1st, 2009 at 10:21 AM.

This is definitely a writer who can open her life and
write about it without hesitation or turning her head away. Which may be a
rare quality that gives such power to her writing. The title to me is
significant in understanding what the author has written, she says, I know
why the caged bird sings.
This metaphor also is in the writing of the 13th century saga Nichiren who
talks about a caged bird
being like (our ignorant self) who calls out and the free birds come (our
enlightened nature) and surround the cage which act as the enviromental
stimulus for the caged bird to want to become free. Without trying to
understate the painful places our life can be in, our deep suffering can
become the cause for us to develop the kind of self that can move to
change; in a manner we never imagined.

Isabel Almeida from United States
Comment 137 of 548, added on March 21st, 2009 at 5:12 AM.

Caged bird is a powerful piece of art. I wish I could meet Angelou one day.
Very very wonderful.

Andrew from Ghana
Comment 136 of 548, added on March 19th, 2009 at 12:13 PM.

The theme of this poem is universal.It encompasses white and black,rich
and poor, privileged and underprivileged,the haves and the havenots,the
happy and the unhappy.While the advantaged ( the free bird)is happy and
eats of the fat of the land, the caged bird is hampered by the anomalies
imposed by society.But although it is caged, it is not gagged. Its voice
gives it opportunity to vent its pent up emotions. It opens its
'throat" and sings of freedom.This final act of defiance against the
oppressive forces of society gives humanity hope. Maya is saying like
another American William Faulkner that man shall not only survive but he
will prevail. Powerful emotive stuff.The metaphor for mans eventual
ascendancy over imposed anomalies is the caged bird that sings of its

Henry Ngale Monono
Comment 135 of 548, added on March 10th, 2009 at 5:56 AM.

i had to choose a poem written by an african for a project, and i chose
this one. two days ago was the first time i read it, and im 14. must say
this poem has a deep meaning to it, and it reminded me of an indian
philosopher-poet, Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal!

maria from Pakistan
Comment 134 of 548, added on February 18th, 2009 at 4:42 PM.

This poem is a one of a kind and by one of the best
writers I ever known.When I grow up I want to become a
famous poet just like you.By the way im 10 years old.
I will always love your work.

Kiara Lowe from United States
Comment 133 of 548, added on February 11th, 2009 at 10:08 PM.

This poem is symbolic of what anyone can go through in life when faced with
adversity.They can give up or keep growing feathers untill they eventually
get strong enough to fly away!!!Great poetry by my favorite poet!!!!!

mattie hardaway from United States
Comment 132 of 548, added on February 4th, 2009 at 11:57 PM.

i know why the caged bird sings
i read about on the internet
apparently maya angelou was raped by her mom's bf
and she told and her "criminal" uncles kicked him to death
and maya became a mute b/c she believed that his death was ultimitely
caused by her
the caged bird in maya angelou
the free bird is her moms bf
and the sky is maya angelous being
and the entire metaphor is her way of expressing her feelings of the rape

but this is just one avid reader of poetry's ideas or opinions.

it may or may not be wrong but plz dont be harsh. i just want to express my
thoughts on the very passionate poem

Kelly from United States
Comment 131 of 548, added on January 31st, 2009 at 10:48 PM.

The cage bird knew that his door was open
caged so long he became a morbid token
of what you lose when you dare not try
when you are afraid that you too can fly
caged so long he forgot his dreams for the cage bird is afraid of freedom.

A free bird knows not of fearful skies
he spreads his wings and enjoy the ride
love is taught between his eyes and his songs fill the world.

But a cage bird is afraid to try
sighs and cries at sunny skies
love not drawn from insides so he lay in a cage of rage.

The cage bird knows no wishful dreams
timid approach to living things
he knows not why the free bird sings
he's afraid that he too can fly.

The free bird shares and live his dreams
swarms the earth among living things
rise to wake with the morning light and can't wait to fly in the sky.

The cage bird knows no wishful dreams
timid approach to living things
he knows not why the free bird sings
he's afraid that he too can fly.

DeAndra Tanae from United States
Comment 130 of 548, added on January 26th, 2009 at 7:40 AM.

The themes decipherable in this poem are universal. They truly go beyond
the confines of the United States of America. After reading and analysing
this masterpiece of a poem, I feel very much caged in my own country as I
continue to see the poor being opressed in all sectors of our economy. It's
like the rich have access to better schools, decent accommmodation, first
class health and housing facilities, fair trials plus more at the expense
of us the poor who still remain caged just like the poetess' "Caged Bird".
Notwithstanding,we will, like the caged bird, continue to sing eonomic
freedom till the day we'd attain it. really i must teach this poem to my
students @ Lusaka West School.

mumbi jonathan kay from Zambia
Comment 129 of 548, added on January 22nd, 2009 at 9:28 PM.

I adore this poem. To me, it shows how people are 'caged' or restricted. It
doesn't show just the black race, it shows religion, or how a person can
just in the throes of life. Drowning, trapped, encased, and they cannot get
out. While another person is enjoying their life of freedom, with only the
care of what was happening next in THEIR life. No one else. Just theirs.
The caged bird seems to be going insane, beating it's 'wing' against the
bars until it bled. (Who wouldn't be a bit upset about being caged?) To
me, it shows how I feel as being one of the few white females in a minority
dominated school. As a Catholic. As having been in the same position as the
caged bird.

Nina E. from United States

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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: 2538 times
Poem of the Day: May 8 2007

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