Why Does The Caged Bird Sing?

By: Beresford , Dewhurst and Mendez


dunbar alicia

Music and poetry are very closely related. Poetry can serve as the voice to the melody, giving the words a different effect on the audience. The past and present are also closely linked. In many ways the past is the foundation for what occurs in the present.

  • How are Paul Laurence Dunbar, Maya Angelou and Alicia Keys linked?
  • How have they influenced each other's work?
  • What role does rhyme play in lyrical poetry?
  • Does the human desire to be free change over time? Explain.

Listen to a sample of Alicia Keys' song: Caged Bird.

Read the lyrics to Alicia's song as we listen to the entire song in class.

Listen to Buck Shot Le Fonque's version of Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings," in class as we read her poem together.

Read Paul Laurence Dunbar's poem: Sympathy

  • What symbol remains constant throughout the writing of all three artists?
  • Are you a caged bird?