Blackout Poem – “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing”

Poem Analysis

The poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing,” by Maya Angelou and is a poem about human rights. in the denotative side, the poem is about a caged bird who is so restricted, it cannot move around, shrilling and singing about freedom, and how the free birds just fly around wherever it wants and just be free. On a connotative point of view, it is about African American having less rights than a white person and how they are mistreated and are not being treated right as they should be. The theme of the poem, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing,” is how some people have more privilege than other human being, and Maya Angelou’s time before, the colored people were discriminated, and they had less rights than the white people, when riding the bus, the colored had to sit on the back, while the white sit on the front. This poem is significant due to how the author expressed that even though restricted and cannot move like other birds, it has its voice and can still be heard and can still expressed its emotion to others. One of the poetic devices used was personification, “the sighing trees,” when tress cannot express human emotion. The other poetic devices the author used is metaphor, which the two different birds serve as metaphors for people free from oppression and people who are oppressed by society. Finally, there is vivid imagery in the first stanza when the free bird “dips his wing/in the orange sun rays” and personification and alliteration in the fourth stanza when the caged bird’s “shadow shouts on a nightmare scream.”