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“Caged bird” by Maya Angelou

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Caged Bird analysisIn the poem Caged Bird by Maya Angelou, we can see that the themes are the lack of freedom, but also the hope for it. This emotion filled poem compares and contrasts the life of two birds. One symbolizing freedom, someone who has got it all but still wants more; and another one representing imprisonment, the desire of something unknown. The poem is structured by six stanzas, each one talking about the life of the free bird, or of the caged bird. This contrast creates a sense of melancholy and sadness through out the poem, which the poet uses to portray her desires and other purposes.

In the first stanza the poet describes what freedom must like, even though she had never experienced it. She uses words like floats downstream, orange suns rays… to emphasize the free life of that bird. However she ends the stanza with and dares to claim the sky. This is saying that even though that bird has the privilege of enjoying freedom, he still has the courage to claim more for himself.

On the other hand, the second stanza describes the feelings of another bird, another soul; an imprisoned soul, a caged bird. This bird has had his wing clipped and his feet tied, and is so full of anger that he can seldom see through/his bars of rage. This metaphor, meaning that the bird is so angry, so full of rage that he cannot act properly; he is confined within his own cage created by rage. This can only lead to the bird being consumed by its own anger.

The poet uses a technique in which every even line rhymes with each other, except for the last one.

fearful trill longed for stilldistant hillsings of freedom.This is more noticeable or shocking in the stanzas about the caged bird. She does this to emphasize the only mechanism which the bird can use to express himself, as he cannot roam the sky as a free bird or cannot claim the sky his own. Also to emphasize the difference between what the free bird can achieve and what the caged bird can, which is to sing his heart out in hope of a better future.

The poet has gradually made the free bird accomplish more, while the caged bird is still in the same position as before. The free bird now looks for fat worms and does not dare to claim the sky; he has now named it his own, showing again the ungratefulness of that bird. Meanwhile, the caged bird still has his wings clipped and his feet tied, and yet, he opens his throat to sing.Another way in which the poet shows the lack of freedom of the caged bird, is by repeating a certain line, or even a stanza throughout the poem, so he opens his throat to sing. This shows that even though the bird knows that he might be inside that dreadful cage for the rest of his life, he still hopes for freedom, he still desires this abstract right in everyone which he has never met. So he sings, and keeps on singing. In addition to that line, the poet repeats the second stanza at the end of the poem. She does this to remind the reader of what the caged bird has gone through, and so that that idea sticks in the readers mind and therefore helps to eliminate this form of imprisonment, which is slavery, racism from the world. So that nobody else has to go through what she lived.

To finalize, the poet has used excellent poetic techniques to make her point of view stand out, and help the reader understand it. Also has used poetry in an outstanding way to accomplish her purpose, which was to show what she lived, so that no one else would have to go through it.

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