Caged Bird | Poem | Maya Angelou

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind   
and floats downstream   
till the current ends
and dips his wing
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 a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.

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.

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.

The caged bird sings   
with a fearful trill   
of things unknown   
but longed for still   
and his tune is heard   
on the distant hill   
for the caged bird   
sings of freedom.


Maya Angelou, “Caged Bird” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)

Maya Angelou, original name Marguerite Annie Johnson, (born April 4, 1928, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.—died May 28, 2014, Winston-Salem, North Carolina), American poet, memoirist, and actress whose several volumes of autobiography explore the themes of economic, racial, and sexual oppression.

Poem Excerpts : The drops of Fog

Writing on leaves,
the drops of fog
some sublime poetries,
of life & lies,
burning and dying,
true love in the eyes.

Read the full poem ‘The Drops of fog’ here.

The beauty of Life

These mountains, a solid architecture,
a life with the green canvas, all over it,
like a bold green flesh, raised by the sun,
the summers, winters and spring passing,
it stays still, never complaining, about anything.

In summers, Sun melts him, like fire vomiting dragon,
his little trees and plants die due to illness,
lack of water causes death to beloved animals,
he keeps mum, waiting for the spring.

Spring and rain, their arrival, bought in happiness,
a joy to the jungle, little animals get their veggies and water,
but never settled, they get lands slides, some trees die,
some animals die, the rain wipes out his tears,
waiting for winters, never complained.

Winters arrival, the blanket of huge snow,
the beauty tends to flow, from the bottom to the sky,
flawless and joyful, the earth becomes cold,
Small roots of small plants, can’t bear it,
Some homeless animals, buried inside the ice,
he cries and smiles,
but never complained.

Nurtured by nature, the strongest,
the wealthier mountain knows,
The beauty of life,
sun and moon, heat and cold,
life and death, death and life.


The Misery of Pain

In the misery of pain,
the hurt beliefs of life,
never fought to forget,
What was causing it.

Never went for the fight,
Never stood to the right,
sitting in corner of the world,
Never spoke about the tides,
Which’re making him sank,
day by day.


One-line Poetry

“Heart whispers through the voices lost in silent winds of solace.”

“Never heard the Whispers of flowers, the stones remained stones.”

“In the lost tranquility, i still breath of unanimous trails towards peace.”

“Writing on leaves, the drops of fog, some poems of life, about smiling and blossoming, love in the eyes.”

“Written on her face, stories of her heart, can’t be heard but understood.”