Freedom: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings!

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.

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.

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. 

Maya Angelou


The poems I post are poems that I resonate with, one way or another.  Something about them comes alive for me when I read them, and for what ever reason they conjure up vivid pictures in my head caring some kind of wisdom with in them.

I find this poem extremely moving, a life or world of two mirrors.  The caged bird’s plight, of desperation and sorrow, is built through the verses and you are given two clear, distinct pictures one of hope and the power offered by freedom and the desire to explore the new.  Whilst the other reflects hopelessness, as experienced by the Caged Bird whose wings are clipped, feet tied and whose dreams form their own grave.

The thing about poetry is that as much as it has the originators reasons for writing it, and sharing it in order to express as message from them.  There is always that space of individual and personal interpretation. Where the words translate into something special and personal for the reader.

For me it expresses the importance of living life to the full. Being you and having the courage to explore and find that out.  But I also acknowledge that life is not all sweetness and light. For many the reality of their life is the physical constraints and limitations of the Caged Bird. Their dreams are not crushed because of their own choice or lack of trying. But simply because of where they are and their environment. An environment that is outside of their control. Like the physical cage that holds the caged bird.

I think the most important and ultimate freedom is having a mental freedom. Creativity is where many a dream survives and fights for existence and to be heard, until it can physically happen. Inspiring words are weaved together until shared.   I think a mental cage is the worst, because its conditioning.  Like those experiments you see imposed on animals used in science . They are customised or conditioned to a particular behaviour using either a reward or punishment system. The punishment system being the worst, because out of the fear of pain the animal no longer attempts to push the boundaries even when the pain trigger is removed. They stop moving outside the limit imposed on them.


I just love the freedom expressed by the ‘free bird’ and all that it entails for the possibility of dreams, adventure and change.  What poems do you love or like?



Be the change you want to be, until next time.


Aquene7 = Peace




Posted on August 14, 2014, in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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