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.
Read the above lines and answer the question that follow.
Explain with reference to the context.
These lines are taken from the poem, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ written by Mary Angelou. The theme of the poem is the suffering of African- Americans and the contrast of slavery versus freedom. Maya Angelou’s 1983 poem “Caged Bird” compares the plight of a caged bird to the flight of a free bird. Many readers have interpreted Angelou’s poem as an extended metaphor with the caged bird representing the historical struggles of African Americans.
The third stanza reverts back to the free bird, further cementing the difference between the free bird and the caged bird in the minds of the readers. She writes that a “free bird thinks of another breeze” that he can enjoy the “sighing trees” and be free to find his own food. The tone with which she writes the first and third stanzas sharply contrasts with the second stanza. The first and third stanzas give the reader a sense of ecstasy and thrill, which serve to make the second stanza seem all the more oppressive.