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Siren Song Analysis



Author: Poetry of Margaret Atwood Type: Poetry Views: 3460

Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama1974This is the one song everyonewould like to learn: the song

that is irresistible:the song that forces men

to leap overboard in squadrons

even though they see the beached skullsthe 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 meout of this bird suit?I don'y enjoy it here

squatting on this island

looking picturesque and mythicalwith these two faethery maniacs,

I don't enjoy singingthis trio, fatal and valuable.I will tell the secret to you,

to you, only to you.

Come closer.This songis a cry for help: Help me!

Only you, only you can,

you are uniqueat last.Alas

it is a boring song

but it works every time.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

The meanings of poems are broader than what the literal poem describes, \"Siren Song\" isn\'t just about men desiring women, it\'s about the desires of people in general and how fatal those desires can be.

| Posted on 2013-04-20 | by a guest


.: :.

i think this poem or song is giving a deeper thought than just men flaling into womens grasps. i think it talks about kids falling into Drugs and alchohol and more(:(:(:(:(: 8==D

| Posted on 2012-06-08 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this poem speaks of all the lures in life (drugs, alcohol, smoking, ect). It talks of the people in life who can\'t resist these traps and it ends up ruining their life and dragging them down.

| Posted on 2012-04-11 | by a guest


.: :.

It has nothing, at all, to do with woman\'s sexual control over men, nor does it have to do with feminist movements, it was merely meant to be comedic and alluring like most of Atwood\'s pieces.

| Posted on 2011-11-07 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem is clearly propaganda sponsored by a future totalitarian government. In this police state all emotions are illegal and to remind citizens of the law, many propaganda posters contain this poem. It reminds the populace that they are not special; instead, they are just another citizen whose duty is to obey.

| Posted on 2011-10-14 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem speaks of the limited language/power of women. The song has not changed. The song is banal. And the song still works. Both the Siren and the sailors are its captive. The song is a death song. Woman need a new language that is not tethered to the needs of men. Brilliant.

| Posted on 2011-04-11 | by a guest


.: :.

It\'s about how we all think ourselves heroes, we all think that we\'re special, and we\'re all so desperate to prove it.
\"Only you, only you can,
you are unique\"
It\'s how we all fall victim to our hubris. Our pride lets people prey on us. The Siren isn\'t saying anything new or terribly interesting, its song isn\'t that beautiful, but everyone buys it because they believe that they are truly special.

| Posted on 2011-03-28 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem relates to how women manipulate men and have a sexual power over them.

| Posted on 2011-03-14 | by a guest


.: :.

I have come to three conclusions...
This entire song is just a trap, and nothing more of it.
\"This song is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique atlast.Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.\"
A trap, it intrigues the men, and then haha here\'s the secret kid, your trapped here forever!muahaha. and readers are supposed to find it comical and cunning.
or...
we readers are supposed to approach this with a femisnist perspective and say, hey! no look this is just a damsels in distress asking for a man to help her, to get her out of her bird suit. well woman don\'t need men to help them. woman are strong, and we can solve our own problems...
or...
we see Atwood\'s feminist approach showing that it is not a woman\'s purpose in life to lure men. she wants to end this lifestyle, but since she is a siren, her true bird is showing (the monster in her) and the only way she can send this message is through luring the men. she asks for help which lures men, because unfortunatley it is in her nature. but she really is sick of being seen as just a woman who lures men, but she can\'t send that message out without luring men

| Posted on 2011-01-07 | by a guest


.: :.

this is about everyone wanting to be unique and the double personalities people obtain when they try to become what they potray as \"unique\".

| Posted on 2010-12-15 | by a guest


.: :.

The lund in Atwood\'s poem ends up luring the lund with her lund and capturing us with her lund at the end, when we read on to find that she has taken the lund captive.

| Posted on 2010-12-03 | by a guest


.: :.

The bird suit refers to the Lunds themselves...they were cast upon an island because they were half human(the woman side) and half Lund (the monster side).
Anyways, this poem is saying that however banal and overused the song is it still works every time. Men will always help someone especially a woman if they need help, whatever the circumstances may be.
\"at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.\"

| Posted on 2010-11-19 | by a guest


.: :.

The siren in Atwood\'s poem ends up luring the reader with her comedy and capturing us with her wit at the end, when we read on to find that she has taken the man captive.

| Posted on 2010-09-15 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem could refer to how men perceive women to be objects or things in need of saving or helpless creatures whom need men in order to be happy. But this is often a trap men fall into; believing women to be less than they actually are and underestimating them to the detriment of men.
The duplicity of the Siren saying she will tell the man the secret of the song and her words actually being the song is interesting and correlates to the duplicity of the Siren appearing to be the damsel in distress and the sailor her saviour compared to the reality of the Siren as the predator and the sailor as her prey. Another double standard that is apparent is in lines 4-6
the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even thought they see beached skulls
The first two lines imply a delusion which men encounter and the last is the reality which they dont see or if they do see, they choose to ignore.
The way the poem is written with multiple enjambments (run on lines) has two different effects. The first is that at the beginning of the poem it gives the feeling of being elusive and alluring and the second at the end of the poem the feeling that there is an urgency and surprising end (and for the sailor a possibly permanent one).
The title SIREN SONG refers to the intention of the speaker, one of the Sirens trying to lure sailors into a trap. The term siren song is an appeal which is difficult to resist but once succumbed to, leads to a bad result.
Another possible interpretation of the last stanza could refer to the school of thought that refers to how, in ancient Greek mythology, the Sirens had to have men around to lure otherwise they would die and that if a man had to hear their song but escape the succeeding demise, the Sirens would fall into deep despair and drown themselves (as what happened in the story of Odysseus in Homers Odyssey. This relates to how women may feel tied to the stereotype of a wife or seductress because it is all they know how to be and would cease to exist without this role to play.
The fact that in the poem the Siren is trying to lure this sailor by appealing to his ego, calling him unique and saying that only he can help her and referring to her song as being boring and working every time (indicating that it has happened many many many more times before) implies that this powerful, female creature is superior to a mere man and thinks men to be very foolish.

| Posted on 2010-08-26 | by a guest


.: :.

Its about love, people being hurt by love ( the beached skulls) and the fact that everyone wants to fall in love even though they are seeing all the people around them getting hurt by it. When they say the people who have heard it cannot remember, its because you cannot define love, it is a strong emotion that can be described and felt in so many different ways. The seagul women is drawing in the men to fall in love with her

| Posted on 2010-05-29 | by a guest


.: :.

The Sirens of ancient Greece were three half-bird, half-women creatures whose songs were so attractive mariners could not resist following the music to the Sirens’ island, the deception came when the mariners boat’s were dashed upon the jagged rocks and all the seafarers drown, but at least they died happy. The irresistible song which draws the men nearer is the subject of Atwood’s poem “Siren Song”. The speaker is posing as one of the three Sirens. Unhappily she sits, waiting — but this is her ploy. “Squatting on this island” (14) she lures her prey with her melancholy, till her trap is sprung and the men cannot escape her cries for help. The speaker feels as if she must show everyone that she is helpless and unhappy. “I do not enjoy it here […] with these two feather maniacs” (13-16). This is the easiest way she can capture her prey, as it “[…] works every time” (25). But the speaker is hesitant to play this damsel in distress. “Alas it is a boring song”(23-24). She finds no enjoyment out of taking her prey and wants to escape this role of temptress. Her ploy in actuality is how she feels inside, she is not happy, and is in distress. Atwood’s poem is paddling the reader with tones of feminism throughout. The Siren is the typical role of the woman, helpless and in the end just a hooker waiting for your money, but this one is different. She wants to escape these roles that have been so stereotypically placed upon her.

| Posted on 2010-05-10 | by a guest


.: :.

I think this is something that can be viewed many different ways. if looked into, the main beliefe of the sirens is not that they eat and kill the men they trap, theey refuse to leave and die of starvation. I think this is a sirens song begging for more, for salvation. She wants more than to be alone with these two. So she wants to pull the man in. and the ending, she knows that it is boring and old, but he is there now, just as she knew he would come. she doesnt have to be alone anymore, and it works everytime.

| Posted on 2010-04-25 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem is the song that Atwood imagines could have been sung by the sirens (half bird, half woman mythological monsters that lured men into the rocks to eat them).
According to Atwood, the sirens sung a song that asked for help "get me out of this brd suit", "Help me" in order to attract the men closer until they are close enough to be caught and eaten "Come closer".
Actually, it has a touch of humor because the sirens use the fact that they "don't enjoy enjoy squatting on this island / looking picturesque and mythical" and that they want to get out of this fake "bird suit" in order to ask for help. Also, it is comical as at the end, we find that we are the next victim : "it works every time". Also, she uses familiar vocabulary and mixes it with magical creatures of ancient Greek mythology: "bird suit", "squatting", "feathery maniacs".
Moreover, this poem touches on the charm that all women have and on how easy it is to use with men who are naturally brought to helping women and to "com[ing] closer" to them. She says that this phenomenon of women being "irresistible" to men is so common "boring" but it "works". Apparently, women use the argument that "Only you, only you can" and tell men that they are "unique" even though it is not true and they use men for their own goals.

| Posted on 2010-03-18 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe its sexy, helpless appeal. Men will certaintly be inticed. Then, they will jump of the ship and go overboard just to help the women and then eventually drow. DUMB STUPID MEN. but it works everytime. ;)

| Posted on 2010-03-07 | by a guest


.: :.

I am studying these poems at school. And i think the narrator feels that she has two identities. As if she must show everyone that she is careless, intimidating and sly. However, inside she feels bored of all this and wants to finish it all. Also that she doesn't enjoy pretending to be helpless but it works.

| Posted on 2010-01-11 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem can be viewed in a lot of ways. Along with a femininst pov, in a way, the poem is actually the sirens song. It lures the reader in saying, please save me from these other two and this terrible life I have, and ends with saying how the song is boring and works every time. The reader becomes the Siren's victim. This is also how the title ties in - it is not about the Siren Song, it IS the Siren Song

| Posted on 2009-11-29 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem is about the siren song of war. Men are made to believe it is an honourable thing to go to war. Think about the Uncle Sam posters "WE WANT YOU", the men "leap overboard in squadrons even though they see beached skulls", because government and recruiters tell them "Only you, only you can, you are unique". It seems everyone is ignoring the fact the poem states "anyone who had heard it is dead, and the others can't remember". I don't believe Margaret Atwood is talking about a woman using her sexuality in order to "kill" a man.

| Posted on 2009-11-13 | by a guest


.: :.

SHAME ON YOUR MR. CAMERON STUDENT FOR USING THIS SITE!

| Posted on 2009-09-26 | by a guest


.: :.

This poem expresses how simple it is to attract men by just playing as the damsel in distress. Really they don't need help, but they pretend they do in order to attract these men, to make them feel needed or special. "Alas/ it is a boring song/ but it works everytime." indicates that they don't enjoy pretending to be helpless but it works.

| Posted on 2009-05-08 | by a guest


.: :.

its about sexual seduction
and how woman can grab men even if there are skulls on the island as it states
good stuff

| Posted on 2009-03-02 | by a guest


.: :.

The sirens are mythical creaturs from "the Odyssey" by Homer. They were womens' heads on a birds body and they seduced men to their death by singing the deadly song. On the surface, its talking about a siren trying to seduce a man to the island by making him feel special. The connotation of the poem is feminist because Margaret Atwood refers to the sirens as "Picturesque and mythical". She is saying that women are only for show and sexual appeal. Atwood was feminist herself, so this is a clear example of feminism

| Posted on 2009-02-22 | by a guest


.: :.

i think the siren is actually objectifying herself to lure the sailors.
can't you just hear:
"oh, i'm just so poor and helpless on this here rock, with these two freaks! won't some big strong man come save me? maybe you're special, the one to finally rescue me and suceed where others failed...nope. dummy. all of them fall for that."

| Posted on 2009-02-11 | by a guest


.: :.

the poem is streotyping women and men. Their basic advantages and weakness.

| Posted on 2009-02-01 | by a guest


.: :.

I believe that Margret Atwood is trying to potray that though lberation and advances have occured for the modern woman, "we" wil always be objectified as a "perfect and mythological" being. I feel as though she is trying to portray the fact that women will never escape this sterotype and though this can be used to their advantage, as seen with the Sirens, not all want this. Women hope for respect beyond their appearance and sexuality.

| Posted on 2009-01-08 | by a guest


.: :.

it means exactly what it says. it is one siren out of three intriguing the reader about a song when really we are there as her next victim

| Posted on 2009-01-07 | by a guest


.: :.

I beleive that this poem represents how the Sirens are marginalized. They are portrayed as seductive and cunning creatures. They also are victims on this island, or lead one to beleive so. The poem also demonstrates how women are often thought of as objects.

| Posted on 2008-11-19 | by a guest


.: :.

At first it seems like the siren is simply calling for help by simply "telling" someone the words from the poem. But after it says that only the specific man can help it, at the very end it says
"it is a boring song
but it works every time."
The only reason I can think of to use these words AFTER explaining that only "you" can help me is that the poem itself is the song; especially because the poem has a lack of rhyming which is often undesirable in music making it a "boring" song.

| Posted on 2008-10-09 | by a guest


.: :.

i believe squatting is not in a literal sense, but implying that they are not permanant and are only there for a short time until they fulfil there duty.

| Posted on 2008-05-29 | by a guest


.: SEX :.

the poem refers to men at a loss to women's SEXUAL APPEAL
cuz all men really think about is sex
hot
sex
sweaty, penis in vagina, heaving, panting
peeling clothes off kinds of sex
and that is what the siren implies she will give him
with her sexy voice


| Posted on 2007-09-30 | by a guest


.: the bird suit refers to.. :.

The bird suit refers to the Sirens themselves...they were cast upon an island because they were half human(the woman side) and half bird (the monster side).

Anyways, this poem is saying that however banal and overused the song is it still works every time. Men will always help someone especially a woman if they need help, whatever the circumstances may be.

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

| Posted on 2007-09-25 | by a guest


.: Analysis :.

A woman has a certain sensual appeal that men find undeniable, but this appeal is defined by culture and almost expected concepts of aesthetic appeal from which woman kind is both resentful of and conscious of their own and mankind’s inability to grant them freedom from this “role.”

| Posted on 2007-03-08 | by a guest


.: :.

When you read it the beginning makes you think it's an objective analysis of the song, but as you progress you learn that a siren is narrating and trying to draw you in with it and that the poem is really the "Siren Song" itself. But to what does the "bird suit" refer? I'm not familiar with the Greek physical descriptions of the sirens. "Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get meout of this bird suit?I don'y enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythicalwith these two faethery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singingthis trio, fatal and valuable."

| Posted on 2005-01-09 | by Approved Guest




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