Do You Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Famed poet and African-American writer, Maya Angelou, wrote a moving autobiography in 1969 which illustrated in a powerful way how character and love of literature can triumph over bigotry and sexual abuse.  Angelou’s coming of age story is a six volume series and begins when, as a three-year-old, she is sent to Arkansas to live with her grandmother.  Her story concludes when she is 17 and becomes a mother.  The author has, of course, gone on to much acclaim for her beautiful words and poetry that have helped define what women, and especially women of color, have endured through the years. 

Angelou, when selecting the title for her book, turned to the African-American poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar and the third stanza of his poem “Sympathy”:

“I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,
When he beats his bars and 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.”

Photo by Joel Woodard

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Filed under Interior Design and Style, Lifestyle, photography, poetry, Portraiture, Style, Uncategorized

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