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Comment 22 of 152, added on July 16th, 2008 at 11:55 PM.
Dunbar had a classical education. He preferred to write in classic styles
as he did when he wrote "Sympathy." Nonetheless, white people in the USA
preferred to read his poems in dialect, implying that "Black" poetry was
better when written in the "Black" vernacular. Dunbar received little
recognition for "Sympathy" but was admired by his white readers for
composing dialect poems, which he despised, but which were what he could
Janice Howard from United States
Comment 21 of 152, added on May 7th, 2008 at 11:40 PM.
I'm sorry but Dunbar was never a slave, his parents were slaves but he was
born after the emancipation proclamation and also in ohio which is north
(were african americans were free)...he knew about the slave situation
because his parents suffered it.
jay from United States
Comment 20 of 152, added on February 13th, 2008 at 4:51 PM.
I think it is important to keep in mind that this poem was published in
1899, after the Civil War. I find that it is not so much about slavery
itself, but the struggle since, especially in the Reconstruction Era and
thereafter. While it's novel to relate it to our everyday lives and so
forth, the social context of the poem's publication and its implications
are far more important in this poem particularly.
C from United States
Comment 19 of 152, added on October 25th, 2007 at 1:44 PM.
'Sympathy' is a powerful echo of Fredrick Douglas' experiences as an
American slave. It depicts oppression and suffering those enslaved -both
physically and psychologically- undergo in a symbolic and subtle way.
N. Seurey from Kenya
Comment 18 of 152, added on July 6th, 2007 at 11:46 AM.
This poem is symbolic of everyday life for enslaved african americans. They
were the caged bird, desperatley trying to be free.
Mike Gray from United States
Comment 17 of 152, added on March 27th, 2007 at 2:58 AM.
Dunbar feels that the caged bird sings for not that he is happy, but that
he is crying and awaiting to be saved from the torture he has endured for
so long. But then my thoughts are, why be sympathetic. Why not instead
rescue the caged bird from its depression and conflictions, why must one
watch and stand by while the caged bird suffers and dies slowly from all
the weight of its troubles. That is what Dunbar’s poem was for, he wrote it
to ask us why have we stood by and watched as we as a people (African
Amreican)have been the caged bird constantly beating its wings against the
cage and crying out not singing for our freedom.
Comment 16 of 152, added on January 17th, 2007 at 11:50 AM.
i really enjoy this poem because it shows the circle of life and suffering
from everyday life. everyone can relates to this poem.
mihir from India
Comment 15 of 152, added on March 27th, 2006 at 4:58 AM.
THE POEM SYMPATHY IS ONE EVIDENCE THA DUNBAR HAS EXPERIENCED THE
PROTOTYPICAL STRUGGLR FOR FREEDOM AND SELF WORTH.THE POEM TILL AN EXTENT
DOES DEPICT THE ENDLESS STRUGGLE OF THE BIRD BUT ALSO JUXTAPOSING IT ARE
THE ZESTFUL SAVVY IMAGES OF CREATIVE ENERGY .
MONISHA from India
Comment 14 of 152, added on February 21st, 2006 at 1:28 AM.
I love how he turned the desperation and oppression his people felt into
this lovely metaphor of human suffering and the impact of society.
kerin from Chile
Comment 13 of 152, added on February 2nd, 2006 at 9:26 PM.
Dunbar does allude to slavery,racism and restrictions-all of which Maya
Angelou encountered in her young life in Stamps, Arkansas. She chose the
caged bird as the title of her autobiography; she, too felt the negativity
Dunbar did but also saw the positiveness in the cage. Stamps was her cage,
her cocoon into which she could crawl and be protected from the harshness
of her world.
Penny from United States
This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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