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Birds, graffiti and a poem by the great Maya Angelou.

Posted in Uncategorized


graffiti-birds-by-brazilian-artist-l7m-6I’ve been thinking a lot about Freedom this week – and how much of it I have. Not too much – but just enough to make me careless sometimes. Careless in that I forget it is there. I allow myself to become ringfenced by small worries and anxieties. And I sit around in that cage – peering through the bars at what could be.

Then I saw these birds – painted by Brazilian street artist L7m around Sao Paolo: an expression of the spirit of his homeland. They reminded me on a poem by the incomparable Maya Angelou – that soul-singer-blues-player-truth-teller of poets. And they work together so well.

So I thought: it’s Friday – why not? 

I know why the Caged Bird Sings: Maya Angelou

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

graffiti-birds-by-brazilian-artist-l7m-4But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

graffiti-birds-by-brazilian-artist-l7m-9

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10 Comments

  1. A wonderful marriage of words and pictures. Thank you.

    May 29, 2014
    |Reply
  2. Thanks for sharing! Really beautiful art and poetry together!

    December 7, 2013
    |Reply
  3. silvia
    silvia

    They really work well together.
    Great match sofagirl

    September 13, 2013
    |Reply
  4. babett
    babett

    beautiful!

    September 13, 2013
    |Reply
  5. Maya is one of the all time greats! Love her!

    September 13, 2013
    |Reply
  6. Those pictures are wonderful. I really really like them. And I love this poem. I remember reading Maya Angelou when I was about 16 years old in school and realising properly for the first time, the magnitude of what she was talking about. Great post.

    September 13, 2013
    |Reply

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