Caged Bird Literary Elements

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Caged Bird Literary Elements
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Caged Bird by Maya Angelou

"Caged Bird" by Maya Angelou

By Lauren Ayube

Published in 1983 in Maya Angelou’s poetry collection Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing, “Caged Bird” is about the experiences and life views of a free bird versus a caged bird. The metaphor of the two birds illustrates the difference between privilege and power, and suffering and resilience. It also symbolizes the difference between African Americans and white people during the Civil Rights Movement.

Caged Bird

Storyboard Description

Illustrate different literary elements in Maya Angelou's poem "Caged Bird" like metaphor, personification, and alliteration

Storyboard Text

  • A metaphor is when something is symbolic of something else. The whole poem is a metaphor: the free bird represents white people, and the caged bird represents repressed African Americans.
  • Personification is when human qualities and actions are given to non-humans. An example of this is the line, "and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees." It's as if the trees are sighing in sorrow.
  • Repetition is when the poet uses the same word or group of words many times. One example of this is, "And his tune is heard on a distant the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom."
  • "Caged Bird" Literary Elements
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