Caged Bird poem Question and Answer and summary of class 11 H.S 1st years AHSEC Assam Board. The poem is written by Maya Angelou in the Alternative book Seasons and also gets important notes and textual questions answers. Also helpful for CBSE Board.



The poem begins by contrasting a free bird with a caged bird. The free bird is described as leaping on the wind, floating downstream, and claiming the sky. It enjoys the beauty of nature, basking in the sun's rays and feeling the wind beneath its wings. The bird represents the freedom to explore, experience joy, and take ownership of its surroundings.

In contrast, the caged bird is trapped in a narrow cage. It cannot fully see beyond the bars and feels anger and frustration. Its wings are clipped, and its feet are tied, preventing it from flying or moving freely. However, even in captivity, the caged bird finds solace in singing. Its song expresses a longing for freedom and a yearning for the unknown.

The caged bird's song carries across the distance, reaching the ears of others. It represents the resilience and spirit of those who are oppressed, yet still aspire for freedom. The poem highlights the power of the caged bird's voice, which symbolizes hope and the desire for liberation.

Textual Question Answers


I. Answer these questions in one or two words.

1. Where was the poet born? 
St. Louis Missouri

2. What does the word 'clipped' mean in the poem?
The word 'clipped' means cut/snipped.

3. What does the caged bird do inside the cage?
Stalks down his narrow cage and opens his throat to sing.

4. Where does the free bird dip its wings?
The free bird dip its wings in the orange sun rays.

5. What does the free bird think of?
Another breeze, the trade winds, fat worms

II. Answer these questions in a few words.

1. What does the free bird do downstream?
 The free bird floats downstream until the current ends, enjoying the journey and the freedom it experiences in nature.

2. What is a trade wind?
 A trade wind refers to a steady wind that blows in a particular direction over a large area. It is known for being gentle and predictable, often found in tropical regions. In the poem, it represents a soothing and pleasant breeze that the free bird envisions.

3. Why does the caged bird sing 'a fearful trill'?
 The caged bird sings a "fearful trill" because it is afraid. It expresses its fear through its song, as it is confined and unable to escape its cage.

4. What kind of song does the caged bird sing?
 The caged bird sings a song of longing and desire for freedom. Its song represents the yearning for the things it doesn't have, the unknown experiences beyond its confinement.

5. What does the phrase 'grave of dreams' mean?
 The phrase "grave of dreams" refers to a metaphorical burial ground for hopes and aspirations. It symbolizes the loss of the caged bird's dreams due to its confinement and lack of freedom. The bird is trapped in a situation that prevents it from pursuing its dreams and realizing its full potential.

III. Answer these questions briefly.

1. What does the free bird symbolize?
The free bird symbolizes freedom, joy, and the ability to explore and enjoy life without limitations. It represents a life without constraints, where one can soar high in the sky and experience the beauty of nature. The free bird embodies the ideal of living a life of liberty and fulfillment.

2. What does the caged bird symbolize?
 The caged bird symbolizes oppression, confinement, and the loss of freedom. It represents those who are trapped in difficult circumstances, whether it be physical, emotional, or societal. The caged bird is a metaphor for individuals who are constrained by various forms of oppression, such as racism, discrimination, or personal struggles. It symbolizes their longing for liberation and their yearning to break free from the barriers that restrict them.

3. Describe the helplessness of the caged bird?
The caged bird's helplessness is highlighted through various aspects of its situation. Firstly, its wings are clipped, which prevents it from flying and restricts its movement. This physical constraint represents the bird's lack of freedom and agency. Additionally, its feet are tied, further limiting its ability to escape or explore its surroundings. The narrow cage symbolizes the confined space in which the bird is trapped, unable to experience the vastness of the world. The caged bird's inability to see beyond the bars reinforces its sense of confinement and its limited perspective. The helplessness of the caged bird is further emphasized by its expression of anger and frustration, as it opens its throat to sing. The bird's song becomes its only outlet for expressing its desire for freedom and communicating its plight to others.

IV. Answer these questions in detail.

1. What is the theme of the poem 'Caged Bird'?
 The theme of the poem "Caged Bird" is the contrast between freedom and oppression. It explores the idea of being confined or trapped versus the desire for liberation. The poem emphasizes the longing for freedom and the resilience of those who are oppressed. It highlights the power dynamics between those who have freedom and those who are restricted, and it underscores the human yearning for a life without limitations.

2. Compare and contrast the condition of the caged bird and the free bird.
 The free bird represents a life of freedom and joy, symbolizing the ability to soar and explore without limitations. It is able to bask in the beauty of nature, claim the sky as its own, and enjoy the pleasures of the world. In contrast, the caged bird is trapped and oppressed. Its wings are clipped, and its feet are tied, preventing it from flying or moving freely. The narrow cage represents confinement, and the bird's perspective is limited by the bars. The caged bird's song expresses a longing for freedom and serves as a symbol of hope and resistance.

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