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Maya Angelou

(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings


The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
........................
........................
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598 person liked.
59 person did not like.

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

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  • Rookie Gail Deemer (7/25/2007 3:17:00 PM)

    I was introduced to Maya in a college literature class, hadn't heard of her until then. She touched the soul of one who'd been caged and then set free. I, too, know why the caged bird sings and thank her for putting into words what so many abused people don't know how or can't express.
    I, too, saw the typos but thought of the message and overlooked them. That can be fixed by a few keystrokes, the bars around a caged heart? Not so easily. Her words have inspired yet another poem for me, her courage (I also read her book) has kept my heart from giving up when all seemed lost. The world would've been so much less had she not written down what was in her heart. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Elizabeth Benedict (7/15/2007 3:31:00 PM)

    I have often felt like that caged bird...yet I just keep right on hoping, though, that with every day that comes, I will have the courage to 'open my mouth and sing.' (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Cheryl Lynn Moyer-peele (6/15/2007 10:04:00 AM)

    Maya -

    There's a typo on line 2 - win?
    I would like permission to post this poem on my blog:

    www.poetryagainstpoverty.vox.com

    I am trying to raise the universal consciousness on this social crisis and I feel this poem has a very powerful voice.

    Thank you -

    Cheryl Lynn Moyer (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Yaritza Florencio (5/18/2007 8:15:00 AM)

    Her poems are so captivating they show you things that sometimes you cant understand and they make you frustrated but still you keep on coming mesmarized by how beutiful the poems are (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 29 Points Robert Howard (12/13/2006 9:45:00 AM)

    One of the greatest of all American poems. Is has the sweep and universal vision of the best of Whitman. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Hamdi Ibrahim (11/16/2006 4:45:00 PM)

    woooooooooooooooow..im speachless the poem speaks for it's self..one of the most beautifulest meaningful poems i've read just wish i could come up with something so enchanting (Report) Reply

  • Rookie R.E. Wind (11/6/2006 1:27:00 AM)

    I love this poem, not only the message, but the imagery in this just amazes me sometimes. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Melvina Germain (8/25/2006 7:54:00 AM)

    The cage bird sings of freedom, oh yes. Is there freedom really, here on this earth, I don't believe so. There's always someone to tell us what to do, how not to speak, watch our tongue, crack the whip so-to-speak. Is there freedom really, no I don't believe so, there's always someone to make our decisions for us, to legislate rather than educate. Is there freedom really, no I don't believe so, there's always someone to tell us what we can watch, what we can't watch etc. etc. etc. I believe true freedom comes when we close earths door behind us and open the door to everlasting life in front of us. Oh yes, that is true freedom.
    Fantastic poem, absolutely fantastic poem-liked it very much.
    Maya Angelou-Great Poet--------Melvina (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Paul Moosberg (6/23/2006 9:18:00 AM)

    Maya made to wing it, The caging bird to bring it
    With Angelou a freedom flow,
    In Stilling bird to sing it (Report) Reply

  • Rookie David Zvekic (3/5/2006 8:27:00 PM)

    I think the 2nd line was supposed to be 'on the back of the wind' and not 'on the back of the win'. 'wind' would have consonance with 'end' 2 lines later. 'the win' on the other hand is colloquial, and makes little sense in this context. Free birds didn't win anything mentioned in this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Burkina Faso (12/5/2005 1:43:00 AM)

    This poems title brings tears to my eyes, literaly. I say it doesn't even need the poem, but the poem is also spectactular. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Katie Dawes (9/25/2005 2:59:00 PM)

    I really love this poem. I have one of Maya Angelou's poetry books with this poem in and it was one of the first poems of hers that I really enjoyed and found myself reading over and over again. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Chamson Elsadat (3/31/2005 2:06:00 PM)

    i would like to have the comments about this poem(i know why the caged bird sing by maya angelou) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kelly Allen Vinal (12/2/2004 1:33:00 PM)

    The correct version is below:

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


    A free bird leaps on the back of the wind
    and floats downstream till the current ends
    and dips his wing in the orange suns rays and dares to claim the sky.

    But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage
    can seldom see through his bars of rage
    his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

    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.

    The free bird thinks of another breeze
    and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
    and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own.

    But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
    his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
    his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing.

    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.



    Maya Angelou (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kelly Allen Vinal (12/2/2004 7:46:00 AM)

    Amongst her greatest poems. Obviously Paul Lawrence Dunbar influenced, specifically by the poem 'Sympathy', Maya Angelou takes the theme and broadens it with her own spin. A modern classic. (Report) Reply

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