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

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is a free verse written by Maya Angelou. Her reflections on the society and the times she lived in are vividly expressed in her poetry. Outwardly the poem can be seen as a reflection on social difference, and the ideals of freedom and justice. The metaphor of birds, represents the inequality of justice seen in the society which differentiates between the African-American community and its White American counterpart. Through the poem, she also explain the nature of both freedom and captivity by creating a contrast between the two using birds as the metaphor. The poem is describing the state of two birds, where one is free and dares to claim the sky, while the other is caged in his bar of rage. Angelou puts emphasis on the lamentable state of the caged bird, and contrasts this with that of the free bird.