Caged Birds

Today I taught Maya Angelou's poem, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which moved a lot of my seniors. The poem is literally about two birds who lead incredibly different lives. One bird soars the sky from morning until dusk, dipping in and sipping from natural springs. The other bird sits in a cage filled with rage with tied legs and wings that are clipped. While the first bird dreams about fresh air and big, fat worms, the other bird sings and dreams about freedom. The imprisoned bird longs for the unknown, a life beyond the cage.

While my students sympathized with the caged bird, few could imagine injustice. Metaphorically speaking---they could not fully grasp that there are people in the world who do not "own the sky" as the free bird does. I don't blame them, I suppose. In their short lives my students have soared academically, they have dipped their feathers in oceans across the world and have tasted the most expensive worms this world has to offer. With that being said, they are still young birds, trapped in grand palaces, caged in privilege.

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