Poetry - Goodman's AmLit discussion

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caged bird

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message 1: by Julie (new)

Julie Cai | 4 comments The poem "Caged Bird" express the author's praise of freedom. It used birds as metaphor to reflect the freedom's importance to human and other lives. It compares the wild birds' courage and its happiness which "
the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn/and he names the sky his own" (Angelou 25-26) to the caged bird's fear and its dream of freedom that "but longed for still/and his tune is heard/on the distant hill/for the caged bird/sings of freedom"(Angelou 34-38). This comparison emphasized the poet's theme, which is the praise of the importance of freedom.


message 2: by ROSE (new)

ROSE MAAAA | 5 comments I agree with you that this poem is focus on the freedom. He wants to "fly" or we can say "live" in a big place that have better treatment, like he said 'the fat worms"(25). He points out his worse life, "his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing"(30). That he used all his power to fight for freedom, the sing is the symbol for people fight equal in the civil right movement.


message 3: by Derick (last edited May 20, 2018 06:17PM) (new)

Derick | 3 comments I think the idea this poem trying to express is beyond seeking for freedom because freedom is such a broad idea. There is a repetition of an entire stanza in this poem talking about the bird singing for freedom with a fearful thrill, where I think the internal conflict exists. In other words, no matter what bad things happen to you or you're in the situation where the society doesn't have your back, you have to keep hope in mind and do what you really want. By reading this poem, it is not hard to link ourselves to the caged bird. Sometimes, it looks like that we sing for freedom because we're in the cage that the society creates for us. But the truth is that we're the one who creates our own cage. The caged bird is afraid of being in the cage because something happens to him and makes him to be afraid. In order to unlock the cage and sing for freedom or anything we want, we have to face the fear. It's not about what the society did to us. Instead, it's about what we did to us and what we will do for ourselves.


message 4: by Jay (new)

Jay Goodman | 5 comments Mod
Derick makes an interesting point here. Do we create our own cages through our own choices, or is the cage built for us by society, school, parental pressures, etc?


message 5: by Derick (new)

Derick | 3 comments Sometimes, we create cages because of our own choices. It's not about the society or people around you. They might set some obstacles or troubles on your way but what really makes you to feel free is your willingness of adapting to the situation you're in. It's just feel like they lock you into a cage. The truth is you're the one who is afraid of everything that is going on. Your willingness to fight your way out is the only key to set you free.


message 6: by Ga (new)

Ga Yeong | 1 comments "Caged Bird" is expressing and showing the desire of the freedom. At the end of the stanza two, there is a sentence, "his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing." This part is strongly showing that even if the bird is tied up physically, they are still going to search and fight for their freedom, in this case, singing out loud. This poem reminds me education from the Asian culture. Since, most of the children from Asia are under their parents control much more strict than other continents, they are like the caged birds from the poem. However, as they get older, they are knowing more of themselves and trying to sing and express out loud to the society.


message 7: by Jay (new)

Jay Goodman | 5 comments Mod
Derick wrote: "Sometimes, we create cages because of our own choices. It's not about the society or people around you. They might set some obstacles or troubles on your way but what really makes you to feel free ..."

And interesting connection. I love it when ideas connect to people in ways far beyond what the writer could possibly have intended. What happens in the culture you're talking about when the "birds" sing? Is it encouraged?


message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert Xu | 3 comments In this poem, Maya Angelou used the bird to metaphor the desire of freedom and song for it. "his wings are clipped and his feet are tied" (12). Although this bird was caged, he still can use his voice to get the freedom belongs to him. Like the sound and freedom are unobservable. The bird hopes use the voice to encourage himself or others to keep strong.


message 9: by Joy (new)

Joy Guo | 2 comments Jay wrote: "Derick makes an interesting point here. Do we create our own cages through our own choices, or is the cage built for us by society, school, parental pressures, etc?"

I guess the cage is built by others, the line "But a caged BIRD stands on the grave of dreams" indicates that the cage makes the bird fail on making his dream comes true, which is possibly done by others and he is not willing to do that.


message 10: by Derick (new)

Derick | 3 comments I partially agree with Joy because what she talks about is what the society or people around you did to you. The caged bird stands on "the grave of dream", shouting on a "nightmare scream"; in other words, his dream is collapsed due to the external effect and he feels fearful and would not take his dreams lying down. He knows that the whole world is against him and he is willing to give full vent to his despair. The next step is to resist against the oppressed society and try to get out of the cage.


message 11: by Richard (new)

Richard Song | 1 comments I agree with Robert's opinion, "his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied.so he opens his throat to sing."(12) in the poem "Caged Bird", even the caged bird does not have the freedoms like the free bird, even the sights of the Caged bird in the cage is narrow, it cannot use the most important wings for the birds, even it have never experienced the life the free bird has, it still does all the thing it can do to try to get the freedom. It use its only thing left, throat, to sing, to use the only method to strive for the things it want, even it's beyond hope. That is a god encouragement for us to fight for or struggle for what we want to achieve our goals.


message 12: by Ariane (new)

Ariane Ning | 6 comments I partially agree with Derick and Joy. From my perspective, the cage was built by us and others. In our life, we need to choose the way we live but sometimes our parents may choose for us. Therefore, the way we live were all different. In this poem, the author used metaphor to reflect that he wanted freedom but he did not get it because of this society. He can not get what he actually wanted. Also, the author made a big comparison between free bird and caged bird: "The free bird thinks of another breeze. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams." He kept singing even though all of it is nightmare. He still wanted to fight with this society and get freedom.


message 13: by Brad (new)

Brad Li | 2 comments The caged bird flapped its wings in a vain attempt to fly away...... Everyone is a caged bird in their livings, because there are many invisible cages in human lives, in reality, such as society, work, family and even schools...... We all are restricted by this world.


message 14: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Wu | 4 comments I agreed with Ariane and in my opinion, I believed that everyone has their own cage which built by ourselves or others. Sometimes we can't totally changed our fate, but we can expect the future in a bright way. Just like the bird in the poetry, we can try to sing even though we are in the cage.


message 15: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Wu | 4 comments I partially agree with Brad, since we can consider about Derick's idea about the cage we built through our choices. I mean that sometimes our choice can change our life.


message 16: by Brad (new)

Brad Li | 2 comments I hope that no matter how hard the life is, how difficult the future is, how reality
limit your dream, there should be freedom in your heart, and still hold courage
to fight back.


message 17: by Freda (new)

Freda Fan | 4 comments Aimee's message lead me connect with the film Lady Bird. Sometimes the extreme resistance will made more terrible result. The bird in the cage want to fly away but if the bird want to fly out of the cage it need to sacrifice something and get hurt by it's resistance. Bird sing in the cage and believe after the pain the hope will coming


message 18: by Ariane (new)

Ariane Ning | 6 comments I agree with Freda's opinion. I also watched the film Lady Bird. Lady Bird has her strong personality. She would never be caged and she always gets what she wants. In the film, she lived in a poor family but she lied to others that she lived in a super rich family. Also, she lived in a small town but she always wanted to escape from that small town. These are all her choices. But when she made these choices, she was really hurt by others and by herself. Her parents can not afford her but she kept doing this. She almost lost her friends and her family. That's the cage Lady Bird made for herself and no one forced her to do so. Her resistance will hurt herself.


message 19: by Freda (new)

Freda Fan | 4 comments Ariane you really get my opint! All of us was the bird in the cage, maybe some of us can't find it but it really happened in everyone's life. It could be the cage of family, economy, or just worry about their future.


message 20: by Ariane (new)

Ariane Ning | 6 comments I want to give a personal experience. From my memory, my parents always made everything for me. I was studied in MINGXING primary school because someone told my parents that it is one of the best primary school in Dalian and I need to go there. I listened to my parents and studied for 6 years there. And when I grow up, my parents suddenly told me that I need to study abroad and get better education in America. But when I get to DAIS, I did not want to listen to them this time because I did not think I would be adapted to this new place. However, my parents thought study in DAIS will make me better so I need to stay here. I can not go elsewhere I want. I wanted to be free. During that time, I was the freshman in DAIS. And I think I was just like the caged bird. I could not escape from that place and the only thing I can do is to talk to my parents. That was the cage for me before but not now anymore. Now, I broke this cage because I finally found that DAIS was a good place and I can study and have fun here.


message 21: by ROSE (new)

ROSE MAAAA | 5 comments Ariane, what do you mean the sentence, which is her resistance will heart herself


message 22: by Freda (new)

Freda Fan | 4 comments Just like if we have different opinion with our family we will resist their power. This resist will hurt your parent and also hurt youself because hurt the person who love you will also feel sad about that.


message 23: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Wu | 4 comments Through Ariane's experience, I want to say that I have same experience with you. At the beginning, my parents send me to DAIS. Obviously, they want me to be better which is go abroad and study. But, that is not I want. I want to have my own choice. I still need to go to DAIS without any grumble. Maybe sometimes, we need accept the truth and wish a better life. Just like the caged bird, although bird is in the cage which bird can't get out, the bird still has the expectation.


message 24: by Ariane (new)

Ariane Ning | 6 comments Rose, Freda has answered your question. And I wanted to add that Lady Bird did not want to change and her resistance really hurt her because during that time she had fight with her family almost every time. Also, she almost broke up with her originally friend. That's the cage for her and her resistance almost destroyed her.


message 25: by Freda (new)

Freda Fan | 4 comments Back to the bird in this poem. The bird in the cage sing fearful trill about the freedom. It's wings are clipped and his feet are tied if it want to fly out of the cage it will hurt it feet and wings, and also it voice trill becasue it sing so long time and sing so loud.


message 26: by Lina (new)

Lina | 2 comments Aimee wrote: "Through Ariane's experience, I want to say that I have same experience with you. At the beginning, my parents send me to DAIS. Obviously, they want me to be better which is go abroad and study. But..."

I agree with Aimee suggesting that even though the bird is caged in its own cage and cannot get out, it accepts it; yet, the bird has dreams about getting out and projects its voices by singing. I think the author intended to reveal the hope that people should have, and they should continue to resist on the things they do not desire to have, even though it might not make a big difference. In other words, the author is trying to say that it is important to take actions and take little steps to resist, as the bird in the cage is fearful but "opens his throat to sing" (Angelou).


message 27: by Lina (new)

Lina | 2 comments Ga wrote: ""Caged Bird" is expressing and showing the desire of the freedom. At the end of the stanza two, there is a sentence, "his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing." This part is strongly showin..."

I think Ga Yeong brought up an interesting point here. I could also connect with the Asian culture of people having conflicts with their parental expectation. Personally, when I was in Korea before I come to DAIS, I was also one of the "Asians" or "Koreans" who just follow the parents' expectation of being good student in school by maintaining good scores. I got what they said, but I did not enjoy it because it was not my own choices. In other words, I was also in a cage of parental expectation. However, as the bird in the poem keeps singing to resist, I also tried to find my own motivation to keep up good work and action instead of just following the parental expectation.

When I found my motivation, I actually found out that I also had my own cages other than the ones built by others, as Derick suggests in the earlier discussion. Despite the existence of the barrier formed by my parents, I also had negative thoughts of thinking the subjects being boring. However, when I noticed this and tried to change my way of thinking, I could get out of the cage and truly enjoy learning.


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