Blackout Poem- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Blackout Poem

            For my black poem, I did “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou. The poem’s denotative meaning, is that there is a bird that’s trapped inside of a cage, and sees other birds and wishes it had their freedom. The connotative meaning of this poem, is that black Americans had no freedom, and that they were being discriminated. The speaker basically describes how life was for the African Americans during this time, they felt like they were trapped inside of a jail, because they had so many restrictions. The caged bird, describes the free bird as a dream, every time the caged bird sees the free bird soar through the sky, it wishes that it could be just like it one day. During this time, the African Americans were always treated horribly compared to Caucasian people, making the African Americans feel degraded, and all they can do is try and use their voice to make a difference; because the bird and the African Americans had nothing but their voices to use. The theme of this poem is that, even if you’re trapped your voice and opinion cannot be oppressed. This poem is significant, because it has an allegorical reference, to the time where African Americans had no freedom and rights. This poem portrays the voice of African Americans, and that their voice matters, nothing can stop them from using it even if they’re trapped in a cage. In the third stanza, lines 16 and 18, there’s end rhyme with the words, trill and still. There’s personification, because she describes the tree sighing, and we know that trees can’t sigh. There’s symbols, when describing the free bird and the caged bird, “A free bird leaps on the back of the wind, and dares to claim the sky.” The caged bird, “But the bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage. The speaker is trying to tell us that these are human’s and not birds, because this is not how birds think.


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