Why do the second and the fifth stanza of the poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou begin with ‘but’?
‘But’ is here a transition word to indicate contrast. The subject in the second and the fifth stanzas contrasts with the theme in their respective previous stanzas. While the first stanza talks about the liberty of the free bird, the second deals with the caged one. The same pattern follows in the fourth and fifth stanzas.