Reflections on 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou

Reflections on 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings'

Maya Angelou

Simone Choy
554944
Monday, February 6, 2012

The title of the poem, I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou, is a curious one. It pre-supposes a question and the title of the poem suggests an answer. This is a different approach since most poems are more of an offering of a thought, experience, feeling or observation. Since Maya Angelou is an activist within the black women's movement in the United States, it is anticipated that this poem will deal with issues relating to the black American woman or emancipation.
In this poem, the bird is a metaphor for human beings. The free bird is a free human being ...

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has the freedom to catch any wind in whichever direction it is flowing. It is free to follow this breeze for as long as the river winds through the country side. It is free to fly into the setting sun and climb up to the unending sky again. The next two stanzas discuss the caged bird and open with the word 'bird' written in upper case letters (BIRD) as if to draw conscious reading to the fact that there is a switch in circumstance for a similar bird. This bird is in a mental cage as much as a physical cage. It seems unable to see past its anger at being prevented from flying because its wings have been clipped and its feet have been tethered.
The caged bird finds a type of freedom by using his voice and initially it is a sound of trepidation. His song conveys a longing for unknown freedom that he knows exists even though he has not yet experienced it. He has to use creative imagining to claim something that is innate to all living creatures; the longing to be free. This ...

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Reflections on 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou. (2012, April 9). Retrieved February 22, 2020, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Reflections-I-Know-Why-Caged-Bird/100635
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"Reflections on 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings' by Maya Angelou." Essayworld.com. April 9, 2012. Accessed February 22, 2020. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Reflections-I-Know-Why-Caged-Bird/100635.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/9/2012 08:57:18 PM
Submitted By: georgiegal
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1191
Pages: 5

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