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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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  • Erlinda Brent (4/24/2012 7:58:00 PM)

    She didn't steal the line, she was inspired by Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem. The caged bird is obviously a metaphor for oppressed people. If we think about it long enough, we could all write a poem about Why the Caged Bird Sings. It is a concept that breeds a lot of thought. (Report) Reply

  • Joseph Phillips (4/23/2012 8:20:00 PM)

    The title is stolen directly from a line in the poem, Sympathy, by Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) . (Report) Reply

  • Pankajam K (4/16/2012 10:37:00 PM)

    Fantastic poem. After reading the words echo deep inside. No words I find to express my happiness. (Report) Reply

  • Janet Muyisa (4/8/2012 10:43:00 PM)

    Wow strong beautiful words i wish i could meet you and ask you couple questions on the book and the poem I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings you book was sooo sad sometimes i thought about it and i ended up crying.
    Sincerely,
    Janet Muyisa (Report) Reply

  • Gajanan Mishra (4/4/2012 10:34:00 AM)

    This is a very good poem. It impressed me. Congratulation.
    Congratulation and best wishes for happy birth day Maya Angelou.
    Will you please read my poem and comment.

    Yours,
    Gajanan Mishra (Report) Reply

  • Godwin Clement (3/20/2012 12:54:00 AM)

    This is just terrific. It is a good contrast between freedom and slavery. No man on earth is entirely free. We become slaves to many things but in varying degrees. Those trapped by what is expected of em from society, family and friends and even religion and etc. Maya indeed, gave in her poem, 'I know why the caged bird sings', detailed analysis of a sharp contrast. I luv this piece. (Report) Reply

  • Ladawn Trice (3/13/2012 2:31:00 PM)

    this poem when written may have had that certain meaning abt the different races, but i believe many ppl can relate to this in different ways: from the wo/men that beat the jail cell floors, to the child that wants to travel beyond his residential address or the countries that are inside of their history text, the woman that doesn't like her job but has to do this bc she is the resource(s) provider for her home...... in one way or another at different intervals in our lives, we have all been the caged bird locked down, feet tied by metaphoric chains (Report) Reply

  • Lukas H (2/29/2012 10:25:00 AM)

    This poem, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” is phenomenal poem in many ways. There are many metaphors that give it a very deep and meaningful look. A couple metaphors are caged bird, free bird, and breeze. Caged bird symbolizes the black race. Free bird symbolizes the white race, and breeze symbolizes hope/opportunity. You can tell that this can relate to the years where the black race didn’t have the same amount of rights as the white did. I love how the poet added these metaphors because it makes the reader think thoroughly and make the reader read it a couple times to really understand the poem. After reading this multiple times, I really felt that this poem connected with me. It’s because I believe that everyone should me treated the same way no matter what. Another interesting addition to this poem is the way it was written. There are 6 stanzas each with 7 lines except 2, which have 4. There are no rhyming schemes or meters. It is a free verse and stanzas rotate from free bird to caged bird. Overall, I think this was a fantastic poem. (Report) Reply

  • Sean Casey (2/28/2012 6:43:00 AM)

    I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou expresses sadness, captivity and racism in a very deep and meaningful, however simple, language. It explains two birds, one of which is trapped in a cage, singing and longing for freedom, with its wings clipped, while the other one flies free and it hunts for worms. This very large metaphor can be interpreted as the struggle between the black and white race. However, the poem still shows that even the trapped bird can sing and hope for freedom, and it is heard on a distant hill, so if I were to take one thing from this poem, it would be that even if all freedom is lost, hope and dream can still be an option, and it may still be heard among others. (Report) Reply

  • Oscar Bonacini (2/27/2012 9:55:00 PM)

    Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is a very powerful poem that conveys it's message through simple language. It compares two birds, and how one is trapped in a cage with it's wings clipped, while the other can run free. The poem can feel dark and sad at first glance, however it can symbolize hope. It shows that the caged bird still has the will to carry on with it's powerful determination. At first, i did not understand the relevance of the title. However, I now see that it is showing that even though the caged bird is trapped, it still sings because of it's hope and will. The piece holds many symbols in it such as oppression and the struggle of african americans. This poem made me feel sad and depressed at first, but after further analyzation I could see that the poem was showing hope, and had a happier side. The bird depicted longs to be free and to be like the bird that is not caged. It is a strong metaphor for the struggle of black people in society and how they became free just like te rest of society. (Report) Reply

  • Charlie Osler (2/27/2012 8:41:00 PM)

    I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is a very powerful but simple poem. It tells the story of two birds and it shows a contrast between them. This relatively simple concept is so powerful because while you read about the birds you can empathize or at least sympathize with them. The poem gives off a feeling of longing and sadness but it also shows hope. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill makes the reader feel bad for this poor bird and makes the situation seem desperate but almost immediately after the reader is given hop because his tune is heard on a distant hill for the caged bird sings for freedom. I think the main ideas of this poem are hope and freedom because throughout the poem we are shown a bird who longs to be free and we are shown a bird that is free we feel badly for the caged bird but we can see that maybe one day he will be a free bird too. (Report) Reply

  • Will K.s (2/27/2012 7:46:00 PM)

    Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” carried a certain air of resonance, which despite it’s simple diction, struck me as deep and meaningful, and ambiguous in many ways. This poem is generally specified to pertain to the struggles African-American people have endured, however such specificity is exclusive to a certain people while this poem is more likely to be generally referring to suppressed freedom or liberty. Angelou creates a deep contrast between the freedoms of the bird the restrained bird is watching, juxtaposing the lines “And he claimed the sky his own” and “But a caged bird stands on a grave of dreams”. Due to the allegorical ambiguity of this particular poem, it is hard to determine its exact meaning, however, it can be said that the poem voices the dismay of the suppressed, and the ignorance of the free. (Report) Reply

  • Carter Ellis (2/27/2012 5:56:00 PM)

    Maya Angelou’s poem “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” is a very inspiring and motivational poem. At first glance this poem is seems to convey a simple meaning of a bird in the cage wanting freedom, but once you look deeper into the poem you notice that the poem is about much more than that. The poem conveys the struggle that black people faced during the years of slavery and into the early 1900’s. The poem also continually talks about search for freedom during these years. There are many contrasts in the poem between the struggles and confinement the bird (black people during slavery) faces and having freedom and being able to live in an open world with nothing holding them back from anything they wanted to do. This is shown between the two lines “The free bird thinks of another breeze” and “But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams”. In closing this poem is a fantastic allegory to show how the black slaves were segregated and their search for freedom. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Dimmer (2/27/2012 3:52:00 PM)

    This poem is very motivational and really illustrates the struggles that black people have overcome. Maya does a very good job at using personification with the caged bird and in a way it is a representation of her. One line that really sticks out for me is But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams. I find this very sad and it shows how much segregation and laws against coloured people caused suffering and pain. There is optimism though and a prime example of this is his wings are clipped and his feet are tired, so he opens his throat to sing. This is a strong metaphor of how black people will continue to use their voice and fight for freedom until it is achieved. (Report) Reply

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