Caged Bird
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Caged Bird by Maya Angelou Analysis and Concise History

Caged Bird: I guess you haven’t read Maya Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird“, do not worry, I have here on this spot a concise history of her as well as the poem “Caged Bird”. You will also read a clear analysis of the poem.Caged Bird

About Maya Angelou and the Poem “Caged Bird”

A 1969 autobiography detailing the early years of American writer and poet Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It is a coming-of-age novel, the first in a seven-volume series, which shows how character resilience and a love of literature can help resolve prejudice and trauma.

The book starts when Maya, three, and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when at the age of 16, Maya becomes a mother. Maya turns from a victim of bigotry with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman able to react to discrimination in the course of Caged Bird.

Her friend writer James Baldwin and her publisher, Robert Loomis, asked Angelou to write an autobiography that was also a piece of literature.

Reviewers frequently identify Caged Bird as autobiographical fiction because Angelou uses thematic development and other fiction-friendly techniques, but it is characterized by the prevalent critical view as an autobiography, a genre she seeks to criticize, alter, and extend.

In the years after the Civil Rights Movement, the book covers themes common to autobiographies published by black American women: a celebration of Black motherhood; a critique of racism; the importance of family; and the quest for independence, personal dignity, and self-definition.

In 1970, Caged Bird was nominated for a National Book Award and remained for two years on the New York Times paperback bestseller list.

It has been used from high schools to colleges in educational environments, and the book has been praised for establishing new literary outlets for American memoirs.

However, in some schools and libraries, the book’s explicit portrayal of childhood rape, prejudice, and sexuality has caused it to be questioned or banned.

Caged 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 sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and   
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.
The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn
and he names the sky his own
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams   
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream   
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied   
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.
By MAYA ANGELOU – 1969

Caged Bird – In 1970, Caged Bird was nominated for a National Book Award and remained for two years on the New York Times paperback bestseller list.

It has been used from high schools to colleges in educational environments, and the book has been praised for establishing new literary outlets for American memoirs.

However, in some schools and libraries, the book’s explicit portrayal of childhood rape, prejudice, and sexuality has caused it to be questioned or banned.

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