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Please give a summary of the poem "The Tame Bird was in a Cage" by Tagore.

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meeeeeeee | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 21, 2011 at 4:29 PM via web

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Please give a summary of the poem "The Tame Bird was in a Cage" by Tagore.

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mitchrich4199 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted January 21, 2011 at 7:32 PM (Answer #1)

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In this poem by Rabindranath Tagore, there are two birds, one in a cage and one free. The caged bird is trying to get the free bird to join him in the cage, while the free bird wants the caged bird to come to the forest and be free. The birds go back and forth with positive elements in trying to convince each other to come to their side. The free bird says, "My darling, sing the songs of the woodlands" to which the caged bird answers, "Sit by my side, I'll teach you the speech of the learned." They also entreat negative elements in trying to convince each other that they are on the better side. Here, the free bird questions the caged bird and his "home": "Among bars, where is there room to spread one's wings?" The caged bird says in return: "I should not know where to sit perched in the sky."

The end of the poem illustrates that the free bird has the better situation. You could argue that the caged bird is just looking for company in trying to get the free bird to join him. The final line of the poem illustrates this very powerfully. He whispers to his friend "Alas, my wings are powerless and dead."

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