View Full Version : ITT I post my review of James Kirkups "The Caged Bird in Springtime"

May 22nd, 2007, 03:18 AM
I think mine is rather classy and worth sharing

Poem for starters =

What can it be
This curious anxiety?
It is as if I wanted
To fly away from here

But how absurd!
I have never flown in my life,
And I do not know
What flying means, though I have heard,
Of course, something about it.

Why do I peck the wires of this little cage?
It is the only nest I have ever known.
But I want to build my own,
High in the secret branches of the air/

I cannot quite remember how
It is done, but I know
That what I want to do
Cannot be done here.

I have all I need -----------
Seed and water, air and light,
Why then do I weep with anguish,
And beat my head and my wings
Against these sharp wires, while the children
Smile at each other, saying: Hark how he sings?

May 22nd, 2007, 03:19 AM
And now for my review =

Analysis of “The Caged Bird in Springtime”
James Kirkup's “The Caged Bird in Springtime” is a whiny prepubsecent angst fest with a little maturity thrown in through his vocabulary. Throughout the poem, Kirkup seems to be complaing about his parents not allowing him to go out last friday night. One could almost expect this to be posted to a LiveJournal, accompanied by some crap about how dark his soul is.
The first stanza is Kirkup apparently examining his newfound emotions since puberty has just kicked in for him, and all those hormones must be difficult to cope with. He expresses a desire to “fly away from here” also known as classy teenage angst. However, notice the separation between “wanted” and “to fly,” thereby making this poem both “edgy” and “modern.” His next stanza exclaims his surprise at he himself having these emotions (His parents didn't care enough to educate him). He claims he has never flown in his life, although that is difficult in this day and age what with so many people visiting far off relatives. Flying is simply the most convenient method of transport. Even more so, he expresses he doesn't know what flying is, and if that is the case, he should be in 3rd grade remedial English rather than typing up poetry for a living.
The next stanza examines the futility of he himself trying to escape his parents evil clutches. He has clearly grown up in only one house (“It is the only nest I have ever known”) but he still doesn't know where the squeaky floorboards are so he can avoid them on his way out after his curfew. Loser. The next line Kirkup tells of his desire to build his own house, sure to be a trying feat until he learns that building houses “in the secret branches of the air” is more than likely against housing regulations. Kirkup then has a sudden bout of amnesia, conveniently allowing him to forget about how incredulous he was about his newfound hormonal imbalances of the first stanza. He quickly goes on to say that, in case his parents find his livejournal and beat the crap out of him for calling them bad parents, that his life isn't all that bad. He has food, water, air and light, and then asks himself why he weeps with anguish, even though he himself has answered this question earlier. He cries because he's whiny and angsty and all those pubescent hormones are messing with his head and making him think he writes good poetry. But, for the final insult against any and all poets that have ever realized that anything they write from 13-19 is rubbish, Kirkup throws down the gauntlet at his apparent tormentors, aka his (very few and equally annoying and pretentious) friends who send him a message on myspace asking him if he wants to do anything this weekend; to which his reply is invariably “No guys I can't. My stupid parents found my livejournal calling them bad parents and they beat the everloving crap out of me. I'm having trouble sitting and I'm grounded as well. My life sucks so much, I hate it hear /wrists /wrists /wrists” (that “hear” was intentional)

Final Summary:

You might find this to be a creative spin on the classic emotions of growing up in the modern world...
...but you would be dumb.
Total: -23/10

Wish I could mess with line spacing so it's not so hard on the eyes but I am both lazy and well. Lazy. So enjoy, and if Kirkup is your favorite poet, at least you have the courage to admit it.