the caged bird sings

President Barack Obama kisses author and poet Maya Angelou after awarding her the 2010 Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Feb. 15

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30 Responses to “the caged bird sings”

  1. 1 P
    February 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I love this SOOOOOOOO MUCH!! This pic says a MILLION WORDS!!

  2. 2 tally
    February 15, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    This photo makes me weepy in a great way!!

  3. 4 Sonjia Duncan
    February 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    This man our President really can make a lady cry.

  4. 5 collegekay
    February 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Simply beautiful.

  5. 6 Andogriff
    February 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    So beautiful. Thanks for this one Chipsticks!

  6. 7 barb
    February 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    What a blessing for this wonderful lady. The picture is overwheming and no words can suffice.
    President Obama is a bird who had been released from the cage and can now fly.

    Maya Angelou

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    The free bird leaps
    on the back of the win
    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 is tune is heard
    on the distant hillfor the caged bird
    sings of freedom

    The free bird thinks of another breeze
    an 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.

    But 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.

    Maya Angelou

    • 8 majii
      February 15, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks, barb. PBO is the fulfillment of the dreams the caged birds sang for hundreds of years–a dream and a hope come to life. This is my favorite poem. I am also very pleased to hear that Dr. Angelou was a favorite of the president’s mother, and that his sister is named for her.

      • 9 barb
        February 16, 2011 at 4:54 pm

        Thank you majii for your thoughts. It is true that PBO is the fullment of the dreams of the caged bird. It is so poignant how Dr. Angelou words describe a truth without ever speaking the words they truthfully imply. I didn’t know that Maya, PBO’s sister was named after her. A remarkable woman, PBO’s mother, was so ahead of her time just like our President.

    • 11 Dorothy Rissman
      February 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      thank you Barb. That book is very important to me. I have kept it for so many years. The award seemed incredibly important to her. Maybe more than others. I imagine for Maya and Bill it had special meaning since it was bestowed by an African American.

      • 12 barb
        February 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm

        Dorothy, I must admit that I have never read Dr. Angelou’s book. Thanks for informing me, I will purchase it soon. There are no words to describe the depth of her feelings when the President honored her with that award. Bill has always been his own person He stands tall not only in stature but in spirit.

  7. 13 Fred
    February 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I think the moment got to Mr Angelou and she was left speechless 🙂

    what a beautiful moment for both the President and Maya 😀

  8. 14 Kasai
    February 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    AWWWW ! My God….I am at work, and I can’t stop sobbing, must go to the ladies room, before someone asks me wath’s wrong…I can’t help myself, Wow…a soft kiss in a cheek from a great man, transformed an image of the Great Maya, maybe even her couldn’t find a great line….but that face just says is at all for me.

    I must stop crying now…back to work

    Thank you kindly Chip for the best venue you present day in, and day out, so grateful (This site is a bit addicting) it’s all good….Keep ’em coming 🙂

  9. 17 meta
    February 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    So many great people honored today, I sniffled through the whole ceremony due to PBO’s warmth and graciousness but this was a very special moment with Maya Angelou. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet Sylvia Mendez and she is a very sweet and gentle woman. BRAVO and congrats to the honorees!!

  10. 19 Yvonne D Baskerville
    February 15, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks for all the wonderful Phots; but these from the Ceremony just take me away. I keep referring to this my 75th year — I am so grateful that I have lived to see this awe-inspiring President and to witness how he reaches out daily to all of us.

    I would never have thought of the 1st President Bush and the Poet-Writer Maya Angelou in the same sentence but he was well-able to choose from thousands and compile this list of fifteen worthy Americans representative of the best of who we were and who we are today.

    Today , I am there with Dr. Angelou; Today, I am there and feel the hug and the kiss; today, I am pround to be a senior, black American Female. The struggle has been worth it to be able to pull up these marvelous pictures on my home lap-top.

    Sincere thanks to whomever started sending me “the only Adult in the room” last Fall; my world has truly been enhanced. God bless each of you !!

    Yvonne D. Baskerville


    • 20 Sue in Minnesota
      February 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      So glad you are have joined this wonderful community, that with everyday celebrates shared hope and progress and recognizes the steady and gifted leadership of our President. Thank you for sharing your joys with us, I think you’ll find our feelings are mutual. I hope that you feel at home and will continue to share.

    • 21 tally
      February 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      Yvonne!! I’m weepy again!



    • 22 barb
      February 15, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      Beautiful heartfelt words written by Miss Yvonne D. Baskerville

      “Today , I am there with Dr. Angelou; Today, I am there and feel the hug and the kiss; today, I am pround to be a senior, black American Female. The struggle has been worth it to be able to pull up these marvelous pictures on my home lap-top.”

      Thank you.

    • February 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

      Yvonne, having reading your comment I don’t think Maya Angelou is the only poet in the room – what a beautiful interpretation of what you witnessed today. I’ve always adored Maya, so to see her there today and being acclaimed by the President in that tender, admiring, respectful way was beyond special, but I can only imagine how special it was for you. Thank you so much for your lovely words Yvonne, it’s just a pleasure to have you commenting here.

  11. 24 Eleroy
    February 15, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Awwwww this is so sweet!!! A really touching ceremony!!!

  12. 25 Me4obama
    February 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    There somethings that are better left to speak for themselves and that picture is exactly how I feel. Speechless.

  13. 26 VC prezOfan2
    February 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    ‘America is growing up.’ Yes, she is Dr. Angelou. Some of her children more slowly than others, but yes she is.

    Very touching entries today, Chipsticks! Comme toujours, ‘merci mille fois!’

  14. 27 Hachikō
    February 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

    That one really brought the tears. I cried with her as I imagined all the emotions and thoughts flowing through her body and her mind. What an amazing time we live in. Yes, there are many reasons to love this country. A country that gave us a man like Barack Hussein Obama and a woman such as Dr. Maya Angelou.

    • 28 tally
      February 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      OMG – you’re so right. I suppose without the right-wing ProfessionalFreakShow™ we wouldn’t completely understand how lucky we are to have such amazing people as the entire First Family, and Dr A.

      Her face. LOVE HER FACE IN THAT PHOTO!!!!

      If I ever have the pleasure to meet her in person, I’m going to just walk up and hug her!!! (Hope I don’t freak her out in the process…..)


  15. February 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    My goodness President Obama’s mother, Ann, never ceases to amaze me. It is like she knew her son was destined to become a great man. She so prepared him for inevitable greatness. She exposed him to his African culture via Black America through books she brought him to read. Exposed him to jazz music and travel; i.e., on his visit to India last year, his mother had already taken him there and all the tourist sites he visited. When he and his family went to Yellowstone, his mother had also taken him there as a child. They lived in Indonesia, he still speaks a conversational Indonesian. She brought him back to Hawaii, I think, so he would not lose his American culture.
    She names his sister Maya after the great African American poet Maya Angelou. It seems her heart was genuine and the love for her son was without reservation about his biracial background. He grew up in his mother’s culture, thereby giving him an understanding of her culture. President Obama writes in “Dreams from my father” on how his mother gave him the impression his father was an African king, later on in life he found out it wasn’t that grand. She never demonized his father to him the way some divorced parents do to each other. God was guiding her in the rearing of her gentle, caring son. I am so very, very grateful that God gave him to America.

  16. 30 M
    February 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Beautifully said graciouslady. Wish she were alive to see him now.

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