Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Why Does The Caged Bird Sing"

The eminent Dr Monkey made a little joke about this question but it really got me thinking about it in a much deeper way. It's the question at the heart of a famous black play/book/movie that I am ashamed to say I have not read since it was created by my girl, Miss Maya Anjelou. I do remember the movie on TV, however, and it's themes have always stuck with me.

I am going to ask you all to answer that simple question. You can be funny or profound or deliciously insane as befits your feelings at the moment.

Does the question only refer to the black experience since the phrase comes from the poem of a slave or does it reflect a more universal truth? You can go to Dr. Monkey's site to see what I think when you are done. This is one I really care that you comment on if you are a regular visitor to this blog. Lets see if 50 of the nearly 850 average daily visitors can wow me.


Drake said...

I think it's universal, people wanting to be free.

Wandering Coyote said...

I don't feel qualified to make a statement about this since it pertains to a work I have not read or am familiar with at all.

Cop out? Sorry.

On a strictly metaphorical level, though, I suspect it's a universal theme, though in this context it's related to slavery.

But like I said, I really can't answer the question without knowing the work first.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

It's pretty much universal now. Which is good.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

And thanks for the link. ;o)

Chase March said...

We are creative beings and we just need to create. Singing is the most accessible means of creation since no outside tools are needed.

I think that we also need to express ourselves some way. Singing allows us to get a lot of emotions out there.

Unknown said...

it has no other choice. it is the ONLY thing it CAN do. it KNOWS how to do.

Robin said...

The caged bird sings because it is comfortable in its cage. The cage provides protection from things/events/life that would otherwise kill or injure the bird. It sings to show its appreciation and happiness for the world it is given.

Ok, I haven't read the book or seen the movie, but it's by Maya and is probably a reference to making the best of your life regardless of your circumstance. Maybe.

Nathan said...

The caged bird sings because it's hoping to get a lucrative recording contract.

KimberlyAnne said...

A few months late...
I just happened to stumble across this page.

I have NOT read the book, but I think I have a pretty good idea about the theme..

I believe it is, and has always been, universal. People have always sturggled,
it be.. because in what we believe..
it be (in the book's/play's/movie's case) the color of your skin.

..Though.. Ethnicity has been one of the top major struggles. (completely my opinion)
But I'll have to stick with universal.

I was writting a poem for school, with a similar theme.. that's actually how I stumbled across this page.
I plan on visiting again.( :

Anonymous said...

ok, the caged bird is a symbol for the chained black slave. Notice that in the poem, the caged bird is singing because of a desire for freedom. This is a metaphor for the struggle between the black and white society. The free bird on the back of the wind is the symbol for the white plantation owners of the south that had the world at their feet. The caged bird is the chained slave. Remember that the black slaves had all kinds of songs they sang while working and most of their songs were about freedom. So the caged bird sang because of a desire for freedom, freedom from being tied down by nightmares and rage.
Does that answer the question?