Poem

A free bird leapson the ago of the windand also floats downstreamtill the current endsand also dips his wingin the ovariety sunlight raysand also dares to case the sky.

You are watching: I know why the caged bird sings poem literary devices

But a bird that stalksdown his narrowhead cagedeserve to seldom see throughhis bars of ragehis wings are clipped andhis feet are tiedso he opens up his throat to sing.

The caged bird singsthrough a fearful trillof things unknownyet longed for stilland his tune is heardon the distant hillfor the caged birdsings of liberty.

The cost-free bird thinks of an additional breezeand also the profession winds soft through the sighing treesand also the fat worms waiting on a dawn bideal lawnand he names the sky his own

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreamshis shadow shouts on a nightmare screamhis wings are clipped and also his feet are tiedso he opens up his throat to sing.

The caged bird singswith a fearful trillof things unknownyet longed for stilland also his tune is heardon the distant hillfor the caged birdsings of liberty.

Poetess

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Marguerite Annie Johnkid Angelou (April 4, 1928 to May 28, 2014), recognized as Maya Angelou, was an Amerihave the right to author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, poet and civil rights activist ideal well-known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-Amerihave the right to woguy. Angelou obtained a number of honors throughout her career, including 2 NAACP Image Awards in the outstanding literary job-related (non-fiction) category, in 2005 and also 2009.

After suffering health concerns for a variety of years, Maya Angelou died on May 28, 2014, at her residence in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The news of her passing spcheck out conveniently via many type of human being taking to social media to mourn and also remember Angelou. Singer Mary J. Blige and also politician Cory Booker were among those that tweeted their favorite quotes by her in tribute. President Barack Obama additionally issued a statement about Angelou, calling her “a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and also a truly phenomenal womale.” Angelou “had the capability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have somepoint to offer,” he wrote.

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Themes

Racism and Segregation

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Maya confronts the insidious effects of racism and also segregation in America at a very young age. She internalizes the idea that blond hair is beautiful and also that she is a fat babsence girl trapped in a nightmare. Stamps, Arkansas, is so thoabout segregated that as a child Maya does not fairly believe that white world exist. As Maya gets older, she is confronted by more overt and also personal incidents of racism, such as a white speaker’s condescending address at her eighth-grade graduation, her white boss’s insistence on calling her Mary, and also a white dentist’s refusal to treat her. The importance of Joe Louis’s civilization championship boxing enhance to the black area reveals the dearth of publicly known Afrihave the right to American heroes. It likewise demonstrates the desperate nature of the babsence community’s hope for vindication with the athletic triumph of one man. These unjust social realities confine and also desuppose Maya and also her relatives. She involves learn exactly how the pressures of living in a thoroughly racist culture have actually profoundly shaped the character of her family members members, and she strives to surmount them.

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Debilitating Displacement

Maya is shuttled about to seven different houses between the eras of three and sixteen: from The golden state to Stamps to St. Louis to Stamps to Los Angeles to Oakland also to San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Francisco. As expressed in the poem she tries to repoint out on Easter, the statement “I didn’t concerned stay” becomes her shield against the cold fact of her rootlessness. Besieged by the “tripartite crossfire” of racism, sexism, and power, young Maya is belittled and also degraded at every revolve, making her unable to put dvery own her shield and also feel comfortable continuing to be in one place. When she is thirteenager and also moves to San Francisco with her mommy, Bailey, and also Daddy Clidell, she feels that she belongs somewhere for the initially time. Maya identifies via the city as a tvery own full of displaced world.

Maya’s individual displacement echoes the larger societal pressures that displaced blacks all throughout the nation. She realizes that countless various other terrified black kids made the exact same journey as she and also Bailey, traveling on their own to recently well-off parental fees in north cities, or back to southern towns as soon as the North failed to supply the financial prosperity it had actually promised. Afrihave the right to Americans descfinished from slaves that were disinserted from their residences and also homelands in Africa, and also adhering to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, blacks continued to battle to uncover their area in a country still hostile to their heritage.

Resistance to Racism

Black peoples’ resistance to racism takes many kind of develops in I Kcurrently Why the Caged Bird Sings. Momma maintains her dignity by seeing points realistically and also keeping to herself. Big Bailey buys flashy clothes and also drives a sophisticated auto to proclaim his worth and also runs approximately via womales to assert his masculinity in the face of dehumanizing and emasculating racism. Daddy Clidell’s friends learn to use white peoples’ prejudice versus them in intricate and also lucrative cons. Vivian’s family cultivates toughness and creates relations to underground pressures that deter any type of harassment. Mayan initial experiments via resistance once she breaks her white employer’s heirimpend china. Her bravest act of defiance happens when she becomes the first black streetvehicle conductor in San Francisco. Blacks additionally used the church as a venue of subversive resistance. At the resurgence, the preacher provides a thinly veiled sermon criticizing whites’ charity, and also the community revels in the idea of white human being burning in hell for their actions.

Analysis

I Kcurrently Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is arguably among the a lot of relocating and eye opening poems ever before written. Angelou additionally created an autobiography through this exact same title, I Kcurrently Why the Caged Bird Sings. It is clear that this title had actually good meaning to Angelou, as it was the title to her entire life story. In her autobiography, she talked about the struggle of being a black author and also poet. She frequently felt that her words were not heard bereason of the shade of her skin. She felt that in some methods, she was still enduring slavery. Although African American human being were free human being in Angelou’s time, tbelow were still many kind of limitations on them in society, making it so that many type of babsence Americans did not feel free at all. This poem, which have the right to be read in full below, reveals the depth of those feelings.

First Stanza

She refers to nature. She describes the means “a totally free bird leaps on the back of the wind”. She defines the bird’s flight versus the ovariety sky. The totally free bird has the appropriate “to claim the sky”. The method she defines the “orange sunlight rays” provides the reader an appreciation for the natural beauty of the sky, and her summary of the way the bird “dips his wing” helps the reader to appreciate the bird in his herbal habitat, enjoying his flexibility.

2nd Stanza

This stanza is in stark comparison with the first. By utilizing the word “but” to begin this stanza, the speaker prepares the reader for this contrast. Then she explains the “bird that stalks his narrow cage”. The tone is instantly and also considerably readjusted from serene, satisfied, and also joyful to one that is dark, unnerving, and also frustrating. She describes that this caged initially “have the right to hardly ever watch through his bars of rage”. While the free bird gets to reap the full sky, the caged bird hardly ever even gets a glimpse of the skies. She clintends that “his wings are clipped and also his feet are tied”. Text from her autobiography reveals that Angelou regularly felt this way in life. She felt minimal from enjoying the liberty that have to have actually been her ideal as a huguy being. The speaker then reveals that these are the extremely factors that the bird “opens his throat to sing”.

The author felt this method in her own life. She wrote and sang and also danced bereason it was her means of expushing her longing for flexibility.

Third Stanza

The third stanza reverts ago to the cost-free bird, further cementing the difference in between the totally free bird and the caged bird in the minds of the readers. She writes that a cost-free bird thinks of another breeze” that he deserve to gain the “sighing trees” and be cost-free to find his very own food. The tone with which she writes the first and also 3rd stanzas so sharply contrasts through the second stanza, that readers deserve to feel the difference. The first and 3rd stanzas provide the reader a feeling of ecstasy and also thrill, which serve to make the second stanza seem all the more droll and also also oppressive.

Fourth Stanza

The fourth stanza proceeds the parallel in between the totally free bird and also the caged bird. The initially line serves to starkly comparison the last line in the third stanza. It is dark and also daunting. The reality of the life of the caged bird is revealed in this line. That bird, “stands on the grave of dreams”. This reveals the author’s feelings around her own dreams. She has so many type of dreams that have actually died because she was never given the flexibility to attain all that her white countercomponents were able to accomplish. Discrimination and Racism comprised her cage, and although she sang, she felt her voice was not heard in the wide world, yet just by those nearest her cage. The second line of this stanza in not only dark, yet even frightening. The speaker defines the bird’s cries as “shouts on a nightmare scream”. At this point, the caged bird is so despondent in his life of captivity that his screams are favor that of someone having a nightmare. The writer then repeats these lines:

“His wings are clipped and his feet are tied, So he opens up his throat to sing.”

Reaffirming the concept that the bird opens up his mouth to sing because his desire for liberty and also his desire to express himself cannot be included.

5th Stanza

This last stanza focuses on the caged bird yet aget. The writer indicates that also though the caged bird might have never competent true flexibility, deep down that bird still knows that it was developed to be totally free. Although liberty, to the caged bird, is “fearful” bereason it is “unknown”, he still sings “a fearful trill” bereason he still longed for liberty. Here, the speaker reveals that his cry for liberty is “heard on the remote hill”. This parallels to the author and also her cry for flexibility in the develop of equality. She feels that her cries are heard, yet just as a soft background noise. She still feels that she is caged and that although she sings, her cries are heard just as a remote noise.

The last line states, “For the caged bird sings of freedom”. With this, the speaker indicates that although the caged bird might never have actually competent freedom, he still sings of it because he was developed for flexibility. This is paralleled to the African Amerideserve to struggle in Maya Angelou’s time. She feels that black Americans composed and sang and danced and cried out for the liberty they deoffered, however they were just heard as a distant voice. Yet, this would certainly not soptimal them from crying out for liberty and also equality because they kbrand-new they were created flexibility, and they would certainly not relent until they were given their rights as people to reap the liberty they were developed to enjoy.

Free bird symbolizes

In Maya Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird” she provides a juxtaplace a free bird’s life via that of a caged bird. The cost-free bird symbolizes people that live in this human being unencumbered by prejudice of any type whether it be racial, socioeconomic, or mental.

Poetic Techniques

In “I Kcurrently Why the Caged Bird Sings,” Maya Angelou supplies a number of poetic tools including alliteration, imagery, and also symbolism. Alliteration, the repetition of consonant sounds, is offered for emphasis on phrasing. An example from the poem has “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream”.

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Imagery is used throughout Angelou’s job-related. Imagery is the author’s usage of words to produce a sensory endure for the reader. For instance, “the caged bird sings through a fearful trill” helps us nearly hear the unpleasant sound of the bird’s cry. Another example from the poem is “and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees” gives a much more pleasant auditory endure for the reader.

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Symbolism is a things or occasion in a poem that represents somepoint beyond itself. Symbolism is the most effective poetic tool provided in “Caged Bird.” Angelou’s contrast of the “complimentary bird” and also the “caged bird” represents humans that are “free” as opposed to “caged” in some way. The “caged” individuals may be hosted back by beliefs or fears or also others that are holding them back or enslaving them in some means. Angelou portrays the “totally free bird” as one that has the confidence to “insurance claim the skies.” In contract, the “caged bird” is linked through “the grave of dreams” and also “a nightmare scream”. Alliteration, imagery, and symbolism are all supplied by Angelou to create this timeless poem.