Thursday, February 6, 2014

Siren Song by Margarent Atwood Explication

This is the one song 1
Everyone would like to learn: the song
That is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons 5
even though they see the beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead and the others can’t remember.

Shall I tell you the secret?
and if I do, will you get me 10
out of this bird suit?

I don’t enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical 15

with these two feathery maniac,
I don’t enjoy singing
This trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you. 20
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

at last. Alas 25
it is a boring song
but it works every time.

            In this allusive poem the speaker describes how the relationship between men and women is too artificially based on beauty. This poem alludes to the Siren which are sister who lure sailors to rocks to their deaths by singing a beautiful tune. The speaker describes the song the sirens sing as “irresistible” (3). It forces men to forget what they are doing to find the women singing. The men “leap overboard in squadrons even though they see beached skulls” (5-6). The men forget about the death ashore because they are following this beautiful sound from the women. They are too focused on the sound that they forget about the rest of the world.
            Also, the speaker alludes that the women do not enjoy being coveting for their beauty. The speaker says, “I don’t enjoy it here/ squatting on the island/ looking picturesque and mythical (13-15). The speaker does not enjoy alluring men to her with her song. She wants something deeper than that, something that does not rely completely on outside beauty. She calls the sirens “two feathery maniac” (16). This depicts the sirens in a negative way. She then goes on to describe the sirens as “fatal and valuable” (18). The sirens are fatal because they lure men to their deaths, but they are also valuable because they grab the attention of men. The speaker believes that the irresistible song is the only thing that were lure men to women. Women have to go through so much artificial effort to get the attention of men. Men will not listen or come near a woman for her inner beauty.
            This song is a horrible thing, it is a “cry for help” (22). The speaker is crying for a man to help her end this irresistible singing. She wants a man to notice her for something more real and deeper. The speaker persuades the reader to come near and near until they are close to death. She finishes the poem by saying “Alas/ it is a boring song/ but it works every time” (24-25). This song that is irresistible is described as boring. If the men looked more critically at the song and used their brains in that situation, they would not be brought to their deaths. It is merely a boring song. The speaker wishes men and women could use their intelligence when they are together. She wishes that men would not be so easily lured to a women by the sound of her voice or by another time of artificial beauty. 

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