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.
Read the above lines and answer the question that follow.
What does the line “and his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream” mean?
The line describes the caged bird who “stands on the grave of dreams/ his shadow shouts
on a nightmare scream.” The grave of dreams can refer to a person who has given up on his dreams. The shadow, rather than the bird itself, shouts, revealing a sense of powerlessness, for who would hear the shout of a shadow? This contrasts with the free bird described in the previous stanza who boldly “names the sky his own.”
The caged bird’s “nightmare scream” gives an otherworldly sense that, again, the cry will not be heard. The words “shadow” and “nightmare” evoke a dark outlook, where only the bird’s shadow or nightmares may escape the confines of the cage. The speaker, describes the bird’s cries as “shouts on a nightmare scream”. At this point, the caged bird is so despondent in his life of captivity that his screams are like that of someone having a nightmare.