Caged Bird

By Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou had many careers. But she gained fame only when she wrote I Know Why the Caged Bird sings in 1970, her autobiography about her experience on slavery. One of the best-known writers in America, Angelou read her poem “On the Pulse of the Morning” at the presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993. Angelou wrote the poetry for the 1993 film Poetic Justice, and went on to appear in that film and others, including There Are No Children Here and How to Make an American Quilt. She died in 2014 at the age of 86.

My Interpretation

Theme(s) of Poem


Darkness: "The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still"

This brings a dark, sinister and depressing feeling to the poem. He is afraid, so it darkens the mood from the cheerful scene that the free bird had created.

Freedom: "and dips his wing in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky."

The free bird is swooping and dancing in the sun to show off to the caged bird how much it can do with its freedom. This is also a good example of the theme jealousy.

Maya Angelou's masterpiece "Caged Bird"
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