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The Bird

Symbol Analysis

There are a lot of birds in this poem, which makes sense, given that it's about imprisonment. We often talk about being "free as a bird," and the image of a caged bird is often used to describe captivity.

  • Line 78: The speaker uses a metaphor to compare his brother to a bird.
  • Lines 269-270: The speaker personifies the bird when he says that its song "say[s]" things, and he uses hyperbole (a.k.a. poetic exaggeration) when he says that the bird "said a thousand things" (since that's a lot of things for a bird to say).
  • Line 282: The speaker uses apostrophe when he addresses the bird directly, since the bird can't literally answer him.

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