Caged Bird

Caged Bird

  • Submitted By: janasir
  • Date Submitted: 01/30/2009 9:10 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 961
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 1160


Maya Angelou , (born on April 4, 1928), is an American poet, playwright, memoirist, actress, author, producer and an important figure in the American Civil Rights Movement. She has been called "America's most visible black female autobiographer". Angelou is known for her series of six autobiographies, starting with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). Angelou recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993. She has been highly honored for her body of work, including being awarded over 30 honorary degrees.

The poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou is poignant poem that revolves around the theme of freedom. This piece declares that even though there are social injustices and inequalities within life, hope and faith in the American Dream can overcome the obstacles of isolation and seclusion. It is a tale of sorrow and desire that captures the lives of two contrasting birds. While the free soars the open sky, the caged bird’s “wings are clipped and his feet are tied” (line 6). The ungrateful free bird never needs to worry about its future, however, the caged bird can only hope and sing for a fruitful future. When reading, the reader realizes that Angelou
believes in equality for all of mankind and she truly knows why the caged bird sings.

Through the use of a lyrical poem, Angelou conveys to the reader a story of a hopeful caged bird and an ungrateful free bird. In the first line of the poem, Angelou utilizes assonance, the repetition of vowel sounds, in saying “A free bird leaps on the back of the wind” (line 1).
Angelou also writes the poem as an enjambment because each stanza is one continuing sentence portraying the life of the caged bird to the life of the free bird: “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” (lines 1-3). Moreover, Angelou uses alliteration...

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