Painful Poems Paint Pictures


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So far this book has been so enlightening and still holds lessons that need to be addressed today. Maya foreshadows the darkness of themes in her book with just the simple title I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Her idea of being trapped in her own dark thoughts and memories really are brought to life in the beginning chapters. Maya at such a young age was a victim of sexual misconduct and the way she describes the situation she was in is horrifying to say the least. However the real statement comes right after the incident, Maya was too afraid to speak about her encounter with the molester because she was embarrassed of what her family would think. Maya blamed herself for being naive and vulnerable and couldn’t help but think she would be labeled by society if she spoke out. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” (Angelou 68). This quote really spoke to me in the sense that we still see victims of sexual abuse 50 years later going through the same troubles. It’s alarming to think that societal views haven’t changed that much on the topic of something so prevalent in today’s world. Maya’s innocence at a young age hindered her abilities to speak out, yet today we see that even grown women are hindered from speaking out because of the lack of support that is in the system today. Angelou reflects on the situation by telling the readers how she felt so trapped and wished she had spoken out that day. That feeling is what we need to eradicate from the minds of adolescents and older, if we want to make a difference in the coming years.

Angelou actively uses extended metaphors to convey the deep messages that she has been through. The poetic language still allures me into reading every chapter and just the simple flow of her words grasps my attention. I think that Angelou specifically uses this flow when she writes to give her metaphors more meaning. Her depth is attached with emotion and her book essentially reads like a poem in some ways. I’m interested in reading more soon, and learning more life lessons too.

The Caged Bird Sings the Truth

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It’s a been a few days since I started reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. So far this book has been such a great read, because of its poem like flow. Maya’s use of extended metaphors to describe such intense situations really helps readers, like me, grasp just what she went through at such a young age. Prior to reading this book I’ve read many of Angelou’s poems throughout my high school career. Just like her poems, Angelou writes this book with a passion to convey strong messages like the importance of family, love, and education. So far I’m really enjoying this book because of the personal tone Angelou uses to connect with her readers. Her use of wit and wisdom really appeals to me as makes it easier for me to understand the things she went through. I feel like I’m having a direct conversation with her and I think that’s one of the most important things readers should be able to experience when reading a memoir.


Angelou uses great metaphors and engaging lines to appeal to her audience. One of my favorite lines so far are the very few that begin the book, in the prologue,  “What you looking at me for?… I didn’t come to stay…” this quotes describes the sense of displacement Angelou experiences throughout her childhood. Angelou uses such conversational quotes throughout her memoir and it really gives her story a personal touch that the audience can grasp. Even with such intense topics and themes so far Angelou has really used her talent to effectively share her stories in a light but straightforward manner. Her intricate word choice makes her stories that much more interesting and empowering. I’m looking forward to reading more about her journey through life, and the metaphors she describes it in.