What is the implication of the lines “His wings are clipped and his feet are tied / So he opens his throat to sing” in the poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou?
The above-quoted lines taken from Maya Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird” speaks of the lack of liberty suffered by a caged bird. It indicates to the distressed life of the African Americans in contrast to their White counterparts.
The bird’s wings are clipped and feet are tied. It refers to the limitations put on him. But he doesn’t give up hope. He opens up his throat to sing. This song is actually a medium of protest as well as an expression of hope. This is the only way open to the caged bird and he utilizes it to communicate to others who are in similar condition.
Angelou thus depicts the miserable life of the African American people when there was nothing left except the voice to sing of hope or to raise a voice against the ill-treatment they received.
It enjoys very few opportunities being captured but still hopes for liberty.
Because it can’t do anything else.
Because it’s the only liberty it is given.
The bird is denied its freedom. It uses its song as a ray of hope, a medium of protest and a medium to communicate with others who are subjected to such miserable conditions.