Siren Song by Margaret Atwood

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Margaret Atwood’s poem “Siren Song” is an interpretation derived from the Greek mythology of sirens and the ability of an individual siren to attract by passers. The poem depicts the desire of what one cannot have with the sirens; although the temptations of this siren song are extremely attractive, the reality is that the siren does not reciprocate the same need for the man and is therefore an untouched figure. The overall message of the poem is to convey that desires come in such temptations, which are impossible to resist and man falls for the traps, irrespective of the knowledge that there are consequences. The poem begins with the first stanza simply stating that the siren song is “irresistible” (3). This diction at the beginning of the poem communicates the idea of temptation being strong and powerful. The speaker immediately opens the theme of dangerous desires in the first line by expressing her view that “everyone/ would like to learn” this song to lure the men in close to themselves (1-2). This line also represents an element of exaggeration because the sirens never left their cliff and so to claim that “everyone” has a desire to learn the song is a hyperbole (1). This shows the speakers attitude towards her lifestyle and that she is attempting to convey that she is indeed trapped away from everyone. Atwood also uses colons in the first stanza to represent that the poem in its entirety is a description and definition of the irresistible siren song. Atwood uses imagery early in the poem to help convey the message of the beautiful desires that the men “leap overboard in squadrons” for; this line specifically creates the image of men jumping overboard out of their ships to find the source of this enchanting song (5). The imagery also helps convey the critical consequences that follow, such as the “beached skulls” that the sailors see (6). The second
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