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December 19th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 279,673 comments.
Analysis and comments on I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou

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Comment 82 of 512, added on January 26th, 2006 at 5:20 PM.

I need help with finding some imageries in this poem and explain what they
mean. I also need to know why this poem repeats!

Thx

lauren from Canada
Comment 81 of 512, added on January 26th, 2006 at 1:49 PM.

I got this poem from a friend of mine(jess) who definitely understands me
more than i let on. She sent me this poem because this is exactly how my
life is.. I feel like im a bird in a cage and the only song that i have is
of freedom. As the poem kept going, i realized that Maya Angelou is right
about the fact that the free bird thinks of another "breeze" while the bird
that is caged only constantly thinks about freedom and the dreams they
would have if they were free. That is exactly how i felt too. This
correlates to me because my life is similar to this in so many ways.
Parents have no right to cage their children and my message is that if they
do they will suffer and make their children suffer as well. I dont have to
sing for freedom anymore because i have it. But i will never be truly
free from my parents grasp if i dont let them go completely. Financially,
and emotionally..
but my two cents to this poem are that i love it, that Maya Angelou knew
the message she wanted to convey and she did and it came out loud and
clear, the price of freedom, the duality between having freedom and not
having it... i love this poem. i'm going to first thank jess for sending it
to me and then im going to print it out and keep it by me. It's very
inspiring, and i thank maya for writing this poem.. it definitely
described my feelings within.

Surrosh from United States
Comment 80 of 512, added on January 6th, 2006 at 2:10 AM.

i like the birdbrain metaphor. we are all imprisoned within the bars of our
own ignorance. i think it is sadly restrictive to examine this poem in
light of racial issues.

i really dislike this poet. in all of her poems that i have read, she seems
entirely obsessed with comparison and a sort of competitiveness. i have my
doubts that these things are any sort of stepping stones on a path to
freedom.

marc
Comment 79 of 512, added on December 19th, 2005 at 3:22 PM.

i notice that my mother Eunice Johnson was mention in the book, she was
married to Bailey Johnson before she died. I would like to talk or e-amil
Maya Angelou about the past, or talk to her brother Bailey Johnson

Loretta Fisher from United States
Comment 78 of 512, added on December 10th, 2005 at 3:28 PM.

Dear Friend from Bosnia, I fear that for generations born in America,
sleeping in comfort on the graves of brave fathers and grandfathers, I fear
that many have no idea that they are free, that they have never known true
bondage and, sadly, have no idea how "precious freedom is."

Patricia Belmont from United States
Comment 77 of 512, added on December 8th, 2005 at 1:24 PM.

This poem was written with very simple words and in a simple style, but
still it says a lot. When you read
"The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom." it makes you wonder "does humanity
actually realize how precious freedom is???"


ADMIRA from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Comment 76 of 512, added on December 7th, 2005 at 9:44 PM.

The poem I know Why The Caged Bird Sings has inspired me to read more
poetry. The feeling that this poem brings out in people is extrordinary. To
be caged up and have no will of your own is one of the greatest sins of all
time. This poem tells how they must of felt, how horrible it must of been.

Brittany Livengood from United States
Comment 75 of 512, added on December 7th, 2005 at 10:23 AM.

It's notorious that this poem show the suffering of a people whom was
forced to work like slaves even when slavery was over, and it's also a
critic for those who insult those who are equal to them.

Antonio Borrega from Portugal
Comment 74 of 512, added on December 1st, 2005 at 1:31 AM.

Analysis
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou’s touching poem revolves around the theme of freedom. On the
subject of freedom Maya Angelou impressively uses effective metaphors,
choice words that resemble her people, themes, diction, rhythm scheme,
imagery, and paradoxes that bring out within Maya and the reader feelings
that represent thriving anger and injustice. Justification implied in the
title demonstration how the speaker, the poet, can feel what her people
went through when slavery was around.
In the first stanza, Maya Angelou uses imagery to show display to the
reader how the soul is so alive and filled with excitement when it is free
and unbounded from impulsiveness. Angelou uses imageries that are so strong
to invoke such thoughts of being imprisoned come across the spirit of the
unbounded bird. “Leaps on the back of the wind” and “dips his wings in the
orange sun rays” enrich the readers senses to reflect on thought of being
so free and alive. The choice of words that Angelou uses reflect that
simple natural elements of nature represent a visual play ground for the
bird. The reader imagines an energetic bird flying so high into the sky
where he has reached the furthest and no longer can fly anymore; a bird
living life to the fullest and have that great choice to guide himself
where ever he wants to. These word that are transcribed by Maya give the
reader a colorful feeling of happiness.
In the next stanza, however, Maya writes in depressing and stark voice.
Such images and metaphors that are completely opposite from those of the
first stanza.
“Narrow cage”, “bars of rage” and “wings are clipped” express a feeling of
terror and fear. The irony and paradox shown in this stanza are displayed
in magnitude because of the pleasant imageries in the first stanza. “Bars
of rage”, a metaphor that represents the imprisonment of innocent slaves
throughout history. This unpleasant dissimilarity makes the reader want to
have sympathy from the bound bird. As the reader wants to show sympathy
they cannot help thing why such an unjust act was done to this bird.
Ironically the drawn out cruel life that the bird owns as compared to the
free bird makes his destiny seem so far conquered by misfortune.
The choice of words additionally adds sadness and grief to the eyes of the
reader. “Grave of dreams”, a metaphor, creates a sorrow because the imagery
echo’s itself to despair and misery. The irony that extends the poem is
that tragic fact that the bird still sings. In the last stanza “The caged
bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still”
represents that even thou he is inescapable his dreams and future are still
there edging the fact that they might seem impossible. This verse gives the
reader hope that even in the toughest moments they will overcome. The
alliteration found in the poem stretches the idea of the depression the
reader admires about the caged bird. The repetition in “shadows shouts on a
nightmare scream” creates an effect of strong determination that does not
fade regardless of the harsh circumstances the bird faces.
In the rhyming of the poem each stanza follows the rhyming scheme of AAAB,
as in the 3rd and 6th stanza. The flexibility of the first two lines in the
stanza following a rhyming scheme symbolizes the imprisonment of the bird.
However, the third line in the same stanza is unique and does not follow
the prior rhyming scheme. The last line of the rhyming scheme gives hope to
the bird which signifies that as long as the bird sing his dream of freedom
will come true. Analysis
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou’s touching poem revolves around the theme of freedom. On the
subject of freedom Maya Angelou impressively uses effective metaphors,
choice words that resemble her people, themes, diction, rhythm scheme,
imagery, and paradoxes that bring out within Maya and the reader feelings
that represent thriving anger and injustice. Justification implied in the
title demonstration how the speaker, the poet, can feel what her people
went through when slavery was around.
In the first stanza, Maya Angelou uses imagery to show display to the
reader how the soul is so alive and filled with excitement when it is free
and unbounded from impulsiveness. Angelou uses imageries that are so strong
to invoke such thoughts of being imprisoned come across the spirit of the
unbounded bird. “Leaps on the back of the wind” and “dips his wings in the
orange sun rays” enrich the readers senses to reflect on thought of being
so free and alive. The choice of words that Angelou uses reflect that
simple natural elements of nature represent a visual play ground for the
bird. The reader imagines an energetic bird flying so high into the sky
where he has reached the furthest and no longer can fly anymore; a bird
living life to the fullest and have that great choice to guide himself
where ever he wants to. These word that are transcribed by Maya give the
reader a colorful feeling of happiness.
In the next stanza, however, Maya writes in depressing and stark voice.
Such images and metaphors that are completely opposite from those of the
first stanza.
“Narrow cage”, “bars of rage” and “wings are clipped” express a feeling of
terror and fear. The irony and paradox shown in this stanza are displayed
in magnitude because of the pleasant imageries in the first stanza. “Bars
of rage”, a metaphor that represents the imprisonment of innocent slaves
throughout history. This unpleasant dissimilarity makes the reader want to
have sympathy from the bound bird. As the reader wants to show sympathy
they cannot help thing why such an unjust act was done to this bird.
Ironically the drawn out cruel life that the bird owns as compared to the
free bird makes his destiny seem so far conquered by misfortune.
The choice of words additionally adds sadness and grief to the eyes of the
reader. “Grave of dreams”, a metaphor, creates a sorrow because the imagery
echo’s itself to despair and misery. The irony that extends the poem is
that tragic fact that the bird still sings. In the last stanza “The caged
bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still”
represents that even thou he is inescapable his dreams and future are still
there edging the fact that they might seem impossible. This verse gives the
reader hope that even in the toughest moments they will overcome. The
alliteration found in the poem stretches the idea of the depression the
reader admires about the caged bird. The repetition in “shadows shouts on a
nightmare scream” creates an effect of strong determination that does not
fade regardless of the harsh circumstances the bird faces.
In the rhyming of the poem each stanza follows the rhyming scheme of AAAB,
as in the 3rd and 6th stanza. The flexibility of the first two lines in the
stanza following a rhyming scheme symbolizes the imprisonment of the bird.
However, the third line in the same stanza is unique and does not follow
the prior rhyming scheme. The last line of the rhyming scheme gives hope to
the bird which signifies that as long as the bird sing his dream of freedom
will come true.

elsaruiz16 from United States
Comment 73 of 512, added on November 30th, 2005 at 9:42 PM.

Maya Angelou’s touching poem revolves around the theme of freedom.
Throughout history slavery and racisms has been one of the largest issues
during the course of time and the word freedom has had so many impacts in
the negro society dating back to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s magnificent
speech, “I Have A Dream.” On the subject of freedom Maya Angelou
impressively uses effective metaphors, choice words that resemble her
people, themes, diction, rhythm scheme, imagery, and paradoxes that bring
out within Maya and the reader feelings that represent thriving anger and
injustice. Justification implied in the title demonstration how the
speaker, the poet, can feel what her people went through when slavery was
around.
In the first stanza, Maya Angelou uses imagery to show display to the
reader how the soul is so alive and filled with excitement when it is free
and unbounded from impulsiveness. Angelou uses imageries that are so strong
to invoke such thoughts of being imprisoned come across the spirit of the
unbounded bird. “Leaps on the back of the wind” and “dips his wings in the
orange sun rays” enrich the readers senses to reflect on thought of being
so free and alive. The choice of words that Angelou uses reflect that
simple natural elements of nature represent a visual play ground for the
bird. The reader imagines an energetic bird flying so high into the sky
where he has reached the furthest and no longer can fly anymore; a bird
living life to the fullest and have that great choice to guide himself
where ever he wants to. These word that are transcribed by Maya give the
reader a colorful feeling of happiness.

Elsa 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: 7221 times
Poem of the Day: May 8 2007


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