…in the orange sun rays…

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Caged Bird

BY MAYA ANGELOU

A free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

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 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.

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

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, “Caged Bird” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)

Looks like these caged birds are very popular in the UK. I run into them again in an article about Chris Ofili’s new work where I also find out he was living in Hackney.

I do not know why but I have this feeling that even in the most messy of the days the people who are fond of me find the time to send me a message to ask me how I am.

I’m fine.

I’m fine because it’s cold today,

Because last night on the street I could feel the perfume of the trees in bloom,

because I saw a bicycle parked in our yard

and a black dog with white hair close to his nails went past me, walking with his human.

I’m fine because if, on my way back home from work, at the corner of Ottolenghi I see Paco having his break I can jump off the bus, give him a kiss (to Paco, not to the bus) and take the next bus, soon after.

I’m fine because I bought a hand cream that smells of vacations in Ogliastro,

because a lady, bare legs, bronze boots, leopard coat, her red hair styled in a high ballet bun, crossed my path,

I’m fine because in front of me I see trees with light, almost white trunks

And the gift of the people who don’t put curtains in the living room and so, passing by bus one can look inside the houses and see

a pink cactus

a rocking wooden horse

a woman sitting on the carpet, her back resting against the couch while drinking from a cup, the golden sunset light passing from one side to the other, the dust suspend in the air, in a cheerful version of an Edward Hopper painting.

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Caged Bird

BY MAYA ANGELOU

A free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

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 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.

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

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, “Caged Bird” from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing? Copyright © 1983 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Source: The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou (Random House Inc., 1994)

Pare che questi caged birds siano molto popolari in UK. Li trovo nuovamente citati in un articolo che parla del nuovo lavoro di Chris Ofili ed è così che scopro che anche lui viveva ad Hackney.

Non so perchè ho questa sensazione che anche nel più incasinato dei giorni le persone che mi sono affezionate trovino il tempo di mandarmi un messaggio per chiedermi come sto.

Sto bene.

Sto bene perchè oggi fa freddo,

perchè ieri sera sulla via di casa potevo sentire il profumo degli alberi in fiore,

perchè ho visto una bicicletta parcheggiata nel nostro cortile

e un cane nero con peli bianchi vicino alle unghie è passato accanto a me, a spasso con iI suo uomo.

Sto bene perchè se, mentre torno dal lavoro, all’angolo di Ottolenghi vedo Paco che si è preso la sua pausa posso saltare giu dal bus, dargli un bacio (a Paco, non al bus) e prendere il bus successivo, subito dopo.

Sto bene perchè ho comprato una crema mani che profuma di vacanze ad Ogliastro,

perchè una signora, gambe nude, stivaletti color bronzo, cappotto leopardato e capelli rossi raccolti alti attraversa il mio cammino,

perchè ho di fronte a me alberi con i tronchi chiari, quasi bianchi

e il regalo della gente che non mette le tende in salotto e passando col bus puoi guardare dentro le case e vedere un cactus rosa

un cavallo a dondolo di legno

una donna seduta sul tappeto, la schiena poggiata contro il divano, mentre beve da una tazza, la luce dorata del tramonto che passa da una parte all’altra, il pulviscolo sospeso nell’aria, in una versione allegra di un dipinto di Edward Hopper.

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