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Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013


Hello, I  am  Sammy.     This  is  a  book  is  a  poem  by  Maya  Angelou  called  “I  Know  Why  the  Caged  Bird  Sings.”  It  is  about  two   birds:  one  that  is  caged  and  one  that  is  free.  The  poem  compares  the  two  using  “juxtaposition”.   The  free  bird  flies  around  in  the  air  and  “claims  the  sky”  while  the  caged  bird  is  stuck  behind  bars   and  “stands  on  the  grave  of  dreams”.  This  poem  is  actually  an  allegory  to  how  African  American   people  were  treated  in  the  past,  especially  in  the  slave  times.    You  can  take  everything  else  from  a  person-­‐  you  can  clip  their  wings  and  tie  their  feet-­‐  but  you   cant  take  their  voice.  The  bird  was  helpless  and  could  do  nothing  but  long  and  sing  for  freedom.  His   voice  was  all  he  got.  He  doesn’t  have  freedom-­‐  but  that  doesn’t  stop  him  from  singing  about  him.   Though  he  is  locked  up-­‐  He  still  has  hope.  And  will  keep  on  singing.   What  I  did  was  paint  a  picture  for  every  stanza  of  the  poem  and  then  I  put  it  together   in  one  book.  I  painted  the  free  bird  red  to  symbolise  that  it  is  really  happy  and  free  and   the  caged  bird  blue,  to  represent  its  sadness.  I  painted  them  using  watercolors  so  they   feel  sort  of  light  and  airy.   I  hope  you  enjoy  it!

Sammy W

juxtaposition-­‐ the  placement  of  two  concepts,  descriptions  or  words  side  by  side  or  figuratively  next  to  each  other.

Monday, June 17, 2013


1

Monday, June 17, 2013


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

Monday, June 17, 2013


2

Monday, June 17, 2013


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.

Monday, June 17, 2013


3

Monday, June 17, 2013


The caged bird sings with fearful trill of the things unknown but longed for still and is tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom

Monday, June 17, 2013


4

Monday, June 17, 2013


The free bird thinks of another breeze an 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.

Monday, June 17, 2013


5

Monday, June 17, 2013


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

Monday, June 17, 2013


7

Monday, June 17, 2013


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

Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013


Analyses

Monday, June 17, 2013


Poem Analysis “I Know  Why  the  Caged  Bird  Sings”  by  Maya  Angelou  is  a  poem  about  a  bird  in  a  cage  and  one  that  is  free.  She   compares  both  of  their  lives  in  her  poem.  The  free  bird  Clies  around  in  the  air  and  “claims  the  sky”  while  the  caged   bird  is  stuck  behind  bars  and  “stands  on  the  grave  of  dreams”.  This  poem  is  actually  an  allegory  to  how  African   American  people  were  treated  in  the  past,  especially  in  the  slave  times.  Maya  Angelou  writes  about  this  topic  in  most   of  her  work.  The  caged  bird  symbolizes  a  black  person  that  is  treated  unfairly.  He  is  tied  up  and  his  “wings  are  cut”.   The  “grave  of  dreams”  is  his  future  and  dreams  that  are  crushed  because  of  the  racism.  The  free  bird  however,  is  a   free  person  who  claims  the  whole  sky  and  Clies  around  freely.  The  “fat  worms”  wait  for  him-­‐  which  symbolize   opportunity  and  a  future.  Of  course,  the  caged  bird  does  not  get  any.  The  message  of  the  poem  is  found  in  the  third   and  sixth  stanza.  It  shows  us  that  no  matter  what  situation  they  are  in-­‐  people  long  for  freedom.  You  can  take   everything  else  from  a  person-­‐  you  can  clip  their  wings  and  tie  their  feet-­‐  but  you  cant  take  their  voice.  The  bird  was   helpless  and  could  do  nothing  but  long  and  sing  for  freedom.  His  voice  was  all  he  got.  He  doesn’t  have  freedom-­‐  but   that  doesn’t  stop  him  from  singing  about  him.  Though  he  is  locked  up-­‐  He  still  has  hope.  And  will  keep  on  singing.   She  uses  different  poetic  devices,  but  one  that  really  stands  out  to  me  is  the  juxtaposition  in  the  poem.  The  poem  has   an  obvious  stanza  pattern.  It  goes  Free  Bird/  Caged  Bird/  Singing  Caged  Bird  and  then  once  more  in  that  same   pattern-­‐  ending  with  the  exact  same  stanza  that  we  came  across  in  the  third  stanza  like  a  refrain.  The  juxtaposition  is   clear  in  the  poem.  Firstly,  Angelou  describes  a  free  bird.  She  uses  words  and  ideas  like  “leaps”,  “Cloats”  and  “orange   sun  rays”  in  that  Cirst  stanza.  Next,  straight  after  the  Cirst  very  happy  stanza,  a  much  more  morose  and  sad  picture  is   put  in  front  of  us.  The  second  stanza  features  a  caged  bird  and  Angelou  conveys  this  by  using  words  like  “stalks”,   “narrow  cage”,  and  “bars  of  rage”.  Once  more,  we  go  through  this  and  see  the  same  thing.  The  fourth  stanza  contains   things  like  “breeze”  “soft  trade  winds”  and  “fat  worms  on  a  bright  lawn”.  She  tells  us  more  about  the  caged  bird  by   saying  “the  grave  of  dreams”  and  “nightmare  screams”.  There  is  a  stark  contrast  between  these  two  birds  and  this   juxtaposition  makes  us  realize  how  different  both  of  the  bird’s  lives  really  are.  Angelou  also  uses  repetition  in  the   third  and  sixth  stanzas  where  she  actually  repeats  the  whole  entire  stanza  word  for  word-­‐  which  gives  the  poem   closure  and  ties  everything  together.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Painting Analysis This was  the  poem  that  I  had  the  hardest  time  with.  Not  envisioning  it,  but  actually  producing  them.     The  cover  just  simply  shows  the  bird  in  the  cage,  with  colors  coming  from  it.  The  colors  represent  the  music-­‐   which  you  will  see  more  of  later.     The  Cirst  picture  shows  the  free  bird,  Clying  in  the  sun.  This  is  our  Cirst  look  at  the  free  bird  so  I  tried  to  show  it,   so  that  it  would  contrast  with  the  caged  bird.  I  tried  to  make  this  picture  bright,  to  show  its  freedom  and  happiness.   It  didn’t  really  come  out  how  I  would  have  like  though.     This  is  the  caged  bird.  I  made  it  blue  to  represent  sadness.  I  made  the  background  very  abstract  using  lines,   which  was  supposed  to  look  like  it  is  really  crowded  around  the  bird,  because  it  has  not  space  to  Cly  and  be  free.  It   also  looks  a  little  like  bars  of  a  cage  as  well.     I  actually  am  really  happy  with  how  this  picture  came  out.  I  let  the  bird  and  hill  stay  unoutlined,  while  the   music  was.  This  brought  attention  to  the  colors  in  the  middle-­‐  which  represent  the  song  that  the  bird  is  singing.   The  bird  is  singing  his  tune  to  the  distant  hill.  The  bird  is  painted  using  negative  space,  which  started  out  as  an   accident,  but  I  liked  how  it  came  out  so  I  just  kept  it  and  painted  the  hill  the  same  way.       This  picture  shows  the  free  bird  looking  for  a  worm-­‐  which  represents  opportunity  waiting  for  him.  I  kept  the   outlines  only  on  the  bird  and  the  worm,  to  keep  the  attention  on  them.   This  next  page  is  my  favorite  in  the  book.  It  shows  the  bird  stuck  in  its  cage.  I  used  color  and  line  to  represent   its  sadness.  I  made  him  look  completely  desolate  in  his  cage,  staring  out,  wanting  freedom.  I  really  like  how  the   lines  outlines  and  Cilled  out  the  whole  bird.     This  last  picture,  is  the  picture  that  ties  the  ends  together.  It  shows  the  caged  bird  stuck  inside,  while  the  free   bird  passes  the  window,  Clying  in  the  air.  I  used  straight,  strict  lines  for  the  cage  of  the  caged  bird  and  free,  wavy   lines  for  the  free  bird  to  represent  both  of  their  emotions  and  circumstances.  

Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings  

Poem by Maya Angelou Illustrated By Sammy Westfall

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