Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
read full text »

Do you like this poem?
1917 person liked.
177 person did not like.


Comments about this poem (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou )

  • Rookie Benton Pratt (6/11/2010 9:14:00 PM)

    This is a song from a band called Have Heart that wrote a song based on the poem.

    On The Bird In The Cage

    My girl, my girl, tell me why you look so sad
    Has the sun finally set on us?
    Have you come to long for another's hand?
    There's a feeling inside me that something's leaving.
    Like someone stealing salt from sea.
    Left me sinking and left me thinking
    How to keep you caged with me

    Because I need you like air I breathe
    Just to hold you.
    Oh, I hold you.
    Oh, how I hold you.
    I hold you down.

    Down with my insecurities.
    Down with my hypocrisy.
    Down with my pathetic pleas.
    Down instead of setting you free.
    To find your happiness with or without me.

    So untie your feat, reattach your wings
    So you don't have to open your throat to sing.

    Because if it's you I love, then from you...
    I'd walk away.

    And your face:
    On every leaf
    Of every branch
    Of every tree.

    Not the same idea as the original poem, but i think its good nonetheless. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 2,106 Points Hans Vr (5/14/2010 8:06:00 AM)

    Stirs up emotion.
    Regret I ever had a canary in a cage
    But meaning reaches far beyond.

    Wonderful me.

    Let us pray for all these humans who are not free
    Who have been enprisoned for so long
    Let us hope God is still giving them a song,
    a song that can be heard
    Like the song of the caged bird.

    No matter how few the things we have,
    If freedom is ours,
    Let us give thanks,
    Thanks to our Creator
    and enjoy every day.

    Hans (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Amy Cullinane (3/7/2010 6:26:00 PM)

    what can i say... truly a GREAT read! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Joan Joseph (3/6/2010 5:47:00 PM)

    Beautiful! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Liberating! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 2 Points Abhinav Baruah (2/26/2010 8:57:00 AM)

    listening the song of the caged bird reinforced the strong belief that only physique can be trapped not mind and soul... from across the ocean we are hearing the free flowing song of this caged (?) bird..... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Her Name Is Taylor (2/6/2010 8:28:00 AM)

    captivating, you cant help but like this poem (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sean Colliver-foster (1/27/2010 9:19:00 AM)

    Natasha I think you are spot on with your comment I strongly agree with you. This could actually fit as lyrics to a Bob Marley song. Right on Sister Maya! Power to the minority.

    Its been a long time coming! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Natasha Phillips (1/22/2010 3:37:00 PM)

    this poem leads me to think of an enslaved african.......... what says u ppl? what comes to mind when reading this poem? ? ? ? (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Hanna Holmes (12/8/2009 10:48:00 AM)

    Background knowledge about any subject will hinder the ignorant critic. As they say, 'It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.'


    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the 1969 autobiography about the early years of African-American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The first in a six-volume series, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. In the course of Caged Bird, Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Caiden J (11/28/2009 5:35:00 AM)

    I don't think she meant it literally, like many interpret it to be. Many people are held victim to circumstance or the vicissitudes of life and can no longer find the will to make it past the threshold. They are caged birds in mind and spirit, thus trapped within their reality. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie David Kostanty (10/30/2009 12:51:00 PM)

    I think it is time for 'Doctor' Angelou to mature spiritually and accept responsibility for creating her own reality. (Report) Reply

  • Freshman - 1,479 Points Howard 'the motivational poet' Simon (10/17/2009 12:26:00 PM)

    From every bird cage and every prison cell the desire of freedom reside. Excellently expressed (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Mark Buford (10/12/2009 11:06:00 PM)

    To Don Maker: I think MA is saying she knows why the caged bird sings, as well. Your comments are cynical in my opinion and narrow. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Louie -Love & Peace- Levy (10/5/2009 1:26:00 PM)

    Dear Maya, We have kindred kind spirits for Birds, My having never forgotten my mother hand feeding her feathered friends from a small 4th story window-sill. I have some small, medium and large back yard bird feeders. No Caste conflict be tolerated. I even have a Squirrel enclosed feeder where there is no need to steel from their bird friends. Love Doves prove their Love, they share with all whom are smaller, without greed. Your poem for them is exquisite. I feel though, that maybe they sing of freedom or for their birth right for it.? Did you know that there are some minor typos to be edited, I am a nit picker so please know that it's possible through the Manage Comments tool bar. I've made this poem one of my favorites. Ratings are impossible to judge anything from heart and not a 1-10 fickle head.
    Thanx, ...louie (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Masike Malatji (7/20/2009 5:49:00 AM)

    What an inspiring piece of writing. The caged bird sings remind me of the struggle against apartheid in South africa. The caged bird is similar to the lawfully oppressed people who found their voice through music and dance. It is through this music and dance that apartheid was dismantled. The free bird leaps on the back of the win and floats downstream till the current ends and dips... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Adam Geiger (6/21/2009 1:12:00 AM)

    Inspired me to write my poem (I think I know why the caged bird sings)
    Its called

    As the sun sets and the tides change
    You realize some things you can’t rearrange
    Try as you wish, and wish as you try
    Keep in mind the birds will still fly

    So don’t waste your time on something that is not
    Because your hopes and dreams will surely rot
    Lay it to rest, start over new
    There is one thing I know, the sky is still blue

    Give it your best and try your all
    Remember though, the leaves will still fall
    Fate is harsh, and often tough
    Take my word, life’s full of this stuff

    The wind will still blow and those sky’s will still snow
    But I believe there is one thing you should eternally know
    As the sun sets and the tides change
    There are some things you just can’t rearrange (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Wm Ryle (5/27/2009 3:36:00 PM)

    Oh yes, Maya Angelou does know why the caged bird sings.
    The free bird flies to the sky, while the caged bird is left to wonder why...
    it is left to the confinement and constraint of its own desire to sing on the wing.

    It is left to wonder why fortune and fate left it so limited in its experience of life; while the free bird, on the wing, flies wide and high, experiencing so many things the caged bird is kept from.

    The analogy is clear. Some of us, some of mankind, are born to freedom and plenty, while some of us, some of mankind, scarcely garner any of the pleasures taken as given and for granted by those of us who are free. This should not be.

    Should we be among those free to fly, we also then should be ever conscious of and conscientious towards those confined to cages in life (and their structures are many) .

    And while some of those 'cages' are self-inflicted, compassion and empathy are among the traits of Christ.. who we should strive to be more like. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie sky dreams (4/20/2009 5:42:00 PM)

    This poem is incredible.. absolutely amazing 10++ (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Vivek Kartha (3/20/2009 8:12:00 AM)

    As usual Maya has made a master piece...but please do correct a few spellin errors that are there in it! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 1 Points Isam Hussain (11/28/2008 9:06:00 AM)

    a beuatiful poem expressing eloquently deep and universally felt longing to be free. Please correct two spelling mistakes -

    on the back of the wind

    and his tune is heard (Report) Reply

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  6. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]