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Siren Song

Margaret Atwood

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2004-02-12
Added by: Natalie Roig
Siren song is a poem of opinion and greek mythology mixed together. In greek mythology the Sirens are three, somewhat, women who are part of monster. Their song is irresitable to men. When the men are attracked by the song, they are then killed (eaten by the monster). Atwood could be thinking or implying that she feels as though no relationship she has been through has gotten pass the Sirens. In greek mythology the men who got pass the Sirens was a hero and very desirable men. Atwood implies that men hear her song and are attracked by it, but dont stay. They dont survive through the relationship. Knowing this Atwood wants to be saved from someone from the Sirens curse. Later, relizes that she cant be saved unless her mate comes and saves her. That would be difficult.
Siren Song
2004-04-27
Added by: Allison
I think there is a heavy feminist subtext to this poem (with Atwood, no surprise!). She's taking on the stereotypes ("myths") that men have about women, stereotypes that are represented by the myth of the Sirens. Women are helpless, passive, weak; and yet at the same time dangerous to men and wanting to trap men into commitment. Yet the poem takes this familiar myth and turns it around, posing it from the Siren's (that is, women's) point of view:

It is actually men's compulsion to be the hero and "save" women that causes their own destruction ("it's the oldest song in the world"), because of hubris--the desire to be unique and heroic.
2004-05-05
Added by: Gareth
But to some extent, she also discussed the roles that women play. The deliberate attempt to appear weak and subsurvient in order to entrap men, the predatory nature of women; yet for a man to talk about women snaring men can be very politcally incorrect. Interesting.
2004-05-06
Added by: Victoria
Not many men got past the Sirens. These were three women who were exiled on an island far, far away. This island was lonely, isolated and surrounded by treacherous and craggy rocks and stormy sea. The Sirens would stand upon the cliffs and echo their haunting and plaintiff song across the waves. Any captains or crewmen who were unfortunate enough to pass by and hear their song would be thrown into a frenzied passion and condemned to death. They would hopelessly and desperately steer their ship toward the shore, and dash their vessels to bits on the dangerous rocks. Any who survived the wreck would drown in the treacherous waters... and drown, after expending their strength to live, in vain.
Works every time?
2004-05-06
Added by: A.T. Wood
What a laugh. It hardly ever works where it counts, when it matters.
Counterfeiting
2004-05-09
Added by: Adamantane
The impact is in the shock of revelation for the weary-cynical manipulative motivation of this siren (and of seduction in general, whether sexual or otherwise).

One might wish for another stanza to elaborate a sociopathic siren's failed attempt at redemption:

"To a guileless youth
I once shrieked,
This secret is a lie.
In confusion he veered to
safety and hated me
for the pity."

It is a superficial misreading to confound lust with the desire to protect those who find unique value in onesself.

While this is a poem of tragedy on both sides, to read 'hubris' for an open-hearted sequela of 'love' is both wrong and sad revelation.

Counterfeiting value always has been a crime.

Margaret Atwood's - siren song
2004-05-17
Added by: Ashleigh
In Siren song atwood is demonstrating the same manipulative tendencies of women who seduce men and poets who seduce their readers...she revamps the sirens to draw comparisons the myth and mosern day life.
men fall victim to women by making the reader the sirens unsuspecting victim.
Through certain key words and phrases "i dont ENJOY..." and "this trio fatal and VALUABLE" and her final words "it is a boring song but it works everytime" Even though the siren doesnt enjoy her song / is bored with it...she enjoys the "valuable" power that comes along with it which outweighs the boredom ....the femme fatale mentality
Jackie Likes This Poem
2004-06-12
Added by: Walter Hagen
I read this Because Jackie likes this poem and I'm bored at work.
2004-07-20
Added by: Lisa G.
This reminds me of Aesop's fable about the fox who tricked a crow in a tree above him into dropping a piece of cheese by asking him to sing a song. I don't think this is necessarily about women (I dislike the thought of reading more into a poem than the author intended, so I tend to generalize) but maybe it's just saying that people are most vulnerable when they feel the need to demonstrate their capabilities to others. When the sirens asked him to rescue them, the typical sailor couldn't resist the prospect of showing that he could.
Siren Song
2004-08-21
Added by: Annie
I don't this poem is necessarily about Atwood herself. It is about how a beautiful thing (the song) can become so dull. The Siren that is singing begins talking about the song although she is already singing, this is somewhat decieving. Then she captivates the men by talking of a "secret" that she wants to tell. Then comes pity, she speaks about how horrible her life is. Also, she calls the man she is singing to special and unique. Once she has lured them in and eaten them she says "Alas, it is a boring song,m but it works every time." So this is what she always uses to lure in men. The 'secret' and the self-pity are actually always there.

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