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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou. The free bird leaps on the back of the wind.

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Presentation on theme: "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou. The free bird leaps on the back of the wind."— Presentation transcript:

1 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou

2 The free bird leaps on the back of the wind

3 and floats downstream til the current ends

4 and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky.

5 But a bird that stalks down down his narrow cage

6 can never see through his bars of rage

7 his wings are clipped and his feet are tied

8 so he opens his throat to sing

9 The caged bird sings with a fearful trill

10 of things unknown but longed for still

11 and his tune is heard on the distant hill

12 for the caged bird sings of freedom

13 The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees

14 and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn and he names the sky his own

15 But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams

16 his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

17 his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing

18 The caged bird sings with a fearful trill

19 of things unknown but longed for still

20 and his tune is heard on the distant hill

21 for the caged bird sings of freedom

22 “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” Explication and Analysis

23 I. Subject and Theme Subject: the difference between a free bird and a trapped bird Theme: Maya Angelou suggests that oppressors cannot silence the cries of the oppressed.

24 II. Voice

25 Tone: carefree/entitled vs. trapped/defiant The free bird leaps carefree = green on the back of the wind entitled = blue and floats downstream trapped = red till the current ends defiant = purple and dips his wings 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..

26 The caged bird sings with fearful trill of the 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.

27 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

28 Speaker of the Poem: Anonymous third-person speaker

29 III. Diction: Concrete vs. Abstract

30 The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings 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..

31 The caged bird sings with fearful trill of the 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.

32 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

33 Key words “Fearful”-- has two definitions (see saying and suggesting) “Throat”—the bird does not open its mouth or beak, but its throat. This indicates that the song comes from deep within.

34 IV. Saying and Suggesting

35 Denotation Fearful: 1.Causing fear; terrible; dreadful 2.Full of fear We usually think of definition #2, but the first definition opens up the possibility that the bird’s song is one to pay attention to because of its fierceness.

36 Connotation There are no associated shadings of words that create subtle nuances. Except for “fearful” with its two denotations, the language is fairly straightforward.

37 V. Imagery

38 V. Imagery: free vs. trapped The free bird leaps on the back of the wind free = yellow and floats downstream trapped = hot pink till the current ends underlined = kinesthetic and dips his wings italics = auditory 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..

39 The caged bird sings free = yellow with fearful trill trapped = hot pink of the things unknown kinesthetic = underlined but longed for still auditory = italics 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.

40 caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing caged bird 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 free = yellow with a fearful trill trapped = hot pink of things unknown kinesthetic = underlined but longed for still auditory = italics and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom

41 VI. Figures of Speech (Devices)

42 Device: Personification The free bird dares to claim the sky The free bird thinks of another breeze The free bird names the sky his own The caged bird can seldom see/ through his bars of rage

43 Device: Implied Metaphor(s) The free bird leaps free bird = free person/oppressor on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks caged bird = oppressed person 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..

44 caged bird sings fearful trill things unknown but longed for still The caged bird sings with fearful trill of the 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.

45 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

46 Most Important Devices: 1.Implied metaphor: while personification also plays a small role, the implied metaphor dominates the poem.

47 Most Important Devices: Implied metaphor: while personification also plays a small role, the implied metaphor dominates the poem.

48 VII. Sound Alliteration: His wings are clipped and his feet are tied So he opens his throat to sing (X2) and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on the dawn-bright lawn His shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

49 VII. Sound Onomatopoeia: Trill: the caged bird sings with fearful trill Sighing: the trade winds soft through the sighing trees

50 Rhyme The free bird leaps aexact = green on the back of the wind bhalf = red and floats downstream ceye = purple till the current ends binternal = yellow and dips his wings d in the orange sun rayse and dares to claim the sky. f But a bird that stalks g down his narrow cage h can seldom see through i his bars of rage h his wings are clipped and j his feet are tied k so he opens his throat to sing. l.

51 The caged bird sings m with fearful trill n of the things unknown o but longed for still n and his tune is heard p on the distant hill n for the caged bird p sings of freedom. q The free bird thinks of another breeze r and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees s and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn t and he names the sky his own. u

52 But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams v his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream w his wings are clipped and his feet are tied x so he opens his throat to sing l The caged bird sings m with a fearful trill n of things unknown o but longed for still n and his tune is heard p on the distant hill n for the caged bird p sings of freedomq

53 VIII. Poem Structure

54 Juxtaposition and Shifts The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings 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.

55 The caged bird sings Third and sixth stanzas with fearful trill could be considered a refrain of the 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.

56 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

57 Summation of Structure 2 septets An octet (refrain) 2 quatrains An octet (refrain)

58 IX. Closed vs. Open Form This poem is a closed form, created by the poet for this particular poem.

59 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou

60 The free bird leaps on the back of the wind

61 and floats downstream til the current ends

62 and dips his wings in the orange sun rays

63 and dares to claim the sky.

64 But a bird that stalks down down his narrow cage

65 can seldom see through his bars of rage

66 his wings are clipped and his feet are tied

67 so he opens his throat to sing

68 The caged bird sings with a fearful trill

69 of things unknown but longed for still

70 and his tune is heard on the distant hill

71 for the caged bird sings of freedom

72 The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees

73 and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn

74 and he names the sky his own

75 But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams

76 his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

77 his wings are clipped and his feet are tied

78 so he opens his throat to sing

79 The caged bird sings with a fearful trill

80 of things unknown but longed for still

81 and his tune is heard on the distant hill

82 for the caged bird sings of


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