What were the two scenes seen by the caged bird?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The caged bird doesn't see very much. Indeed, as the speaker says in stanza two, the caged bird "can seldom see through / his bars of rage." Throughout the poem, we are told only what the caged bird does not see.

In the fifth stanza, the speaker says that the...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The caged bird doesn't see very much. Indeed, as the speaker says in stanza two, the caged bird "can seldom see through / his bars of rage." Throughout the poem, we are told only what the caged bird does not see.

In the fifth stanza, the speaker says that the caged bird "stands on the grave of dreams." This is of course a metaphor, and the caged bird does not literally see this grave. Nonetheless, the image implies that the caged bird sees, metaphorically, only the bars of the cage and the death of its freedom that those bars symbolize.

The fact that the caged bird sees only the bars of his cage is in stark contrast to the scenes that the free bird sees. The free bird sees "the orange sun rays" and "the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn." These images of course emphasize, by contrast, the dearth of scenes available to the caged bird.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team