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Poem I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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Poem I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

  1. 1. Background of the Poet Name Maya Angelou Born 4 April 1928 St. Louis, Missouri, US Occupation Poet, civil rights activist, dancer, film producer, television producer, playwright, film director, author, actress, professor Ethnic African American Literary Movement Civil Rights Notable Works I know why the caged bird sings, On the Pulse of Morning
  2. 2. Poem: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Stanza 1) 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.
  3. 3. Poem: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Stanza 2) 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.
  4. 4. Poem: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Stanza 3) 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
  5. 5. Poem: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Stanza 4) 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.
  6. 6. Poem: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Stanza 5) 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
  7. 7. Poem: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Stanza 6) 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.
  8. 8. 1. Freedom The caged bird can be interpreted as the black race being held back from freedom by their skin color. They are the repressed African Americans who are both literally and figuratively caged and unable to spread their wings and meet their full potential. They dream of freedom. The repetition of the word "freedom" is also used to highlight the rights of every American citizen.
  9. 9. 2. Inequality/Racism The oppressing effects of racism and segregation in America deprives the black community of something America upholds with pride. The blacks were treated as a second class citizens. They are not trapped within a literal cage, but they are trapped in their own skin. Much like their ancestors who crossed the ocean in slave ships, blacks were branded as an inferior race. The inequality has led to frustration and restriction.
  10. 10. American Slavery
  11. 11. Racism in America
  12. 12. Tutorial – Group Activity • Pick the most important word/ line/ image/ object in the poem and explain on the choice – support with examples (present as poster)
  13. 13. Tutorial – Writing Task Identify the elements in the poem and write about the following: 1. Speaker/Persona 2. Point of View 3. Tone/Mood 4. Style (rhyme scheme) 5. Language 6. Theme 7. Poetic devices a. Alliteration b. Metaphor c. Personification d. Symbolism e. Repetition * Which element/device create the greatest effect within the poem?

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