The Caged Bird Image

Report
The Caged Bird
Image
Why Does It Sing To Us?
By Michael Tidbury
The Plan
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Why Birds?
The caged bird metaphor
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Sympathy
Findings
Why Birds?
The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a
suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the
top of the scale, so vehement and intense his
life. . . . The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with
every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing
no bounds – how many human aspirations are
realised in their free, holiday-lives – and how
many suggestions to the poet in their flight and
song!
John Burroughs – American
Naturalist and essayist
Why Birds?
Burroughs Big Ideas:
1. “knowing no bounds”
2. “and how many suggestions to the
poet in their flight and song!”
Caged Bird Metaphor
• Birds are social animals – accustomed to life with a flock
• Cages can only be opened from the outside
Sympathy
I KNOW what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing
grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals-I know what the caged bird feels!
I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,-When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's
deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings-I know why the caged bird sings!
I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting-I know why he beats his wing!
Paul Lawrence Dunbar
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 is tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom
Findings
The image can be easily skewed:
1. Different Behaviours = Different
Focus
2. Different Comparative = Different
Tone
3. Different Era = Different ideas

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