Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Classics Bookclub



It's the first Tuesday of the month, and it's time for Classics Bookclub, which is hosted by 5 Minutes for Books. And for February, we read Maya Angelou's autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. This is my third time reading this book. I first read it at University, and then again when I was pregnant with my first child. And both times I was entrahelled by what I read. I knew what to expect from book, but I was curious on how I would react to certain events that happened to the author.

Nothing much changed from the previous times that I read the book. I still felt the anger and wonder of what happen to the author as a child and how she drew strength to survive. And the humiliating way the she, her family, were treated just because of the color of their skin. It's revolting, it just makes me angry. I wish I could express it better, I just do not have the words.

I think what I love most about the book, is the author's voice. Even though it's prose, it has a poetic flow to it.

I searched for Maya Angelou's poem Caged Bird. And I would love to share it with you:

Caged Bird

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
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 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.

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 book is going back to keeper shelf. It's just one of those books...

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (Reread) Autobiography; Published: Random House (1969); Classics Bookclub; 100 + Reading Challenge (14);

5 comments:

Margot said...

Thanks for your positive review. And thanks for the poem. That is the capstone to my reading of the book. I also enjoyed the book. Although it was difficult to "experience" all her pain, it makes me appreciate her poetry and prose even more.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Thanks for sharing the poem. It helps make sense of the title.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

I'm with Jennifer. Wish I'd read that poem before reading the book...I would've understood much more, I think.

Thanks for joining us.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

How did I miss this poem? It explains a lot about the title. This is a great review. Thanks for sharing!

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

she's a wonderful poet! I enjoyed *On the Pulse of Morning* from Bill Clinton's first inaugural.