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Siren Song by Margaret Atwood

analysis of the poem
by

Genesis Aponte Rivera

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Siren Song by Margaret Atwood

Siren Song
By Margaret Atwood Literal Meaning of the poem Margaret Atwood Imagery In the second stanza:
"the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even thought they see beached skull"

In the fourth stanza:
"Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit? Structure of the Poem Kenneth Landrón
Sandra Figueroa
Genesis Aponte
Luis Molina
Lissette Villar The poem contains a manipulative tone in which the siren uses her song and cries for help in order for the sailor to fall for her trap.
It is a free verse poem that consists of nine tercets.
Written in general English
Type of poem: Narrative
Contains no meter "Siren Song" Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.
Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honorary degrees. She is the author of more than fifty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid's Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood's dystopic novel, Oryx and Crake, was published in 2003. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short stories) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, part of the Massey Lecture series, appeared in 2008, and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, in the autumn of 2009. Ms. Atwood's work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. In 2004 she co-invented the Long Pen TM. The Poem allude to Greek Mythology in which the three sirens were, half bird half women creatures whose songs were so alluring that mariners could not resist following to the Sirens' Island only to be destroyed by its rocky coast. The speaker is one of the sirens that pretend to be unhappy and therefore required help. The siren is appealing to the listener as if he is unique and only he can save her. So in pretending to need rescuing she lures the mariners. The siren claims that she will reveal the secret of her deadly song when actually she is already singing the bait. In the fifth stanza:
"I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical"

In the sixth stanza:
"with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable. Figurative Meaning of the Poem Atwood may be saying that the seduction process the sirens use is so certain that it's "boring." Even though the sailors see the "beached skulls on the beach," the men keep marching on to the lyrical song of the Siren, which might be insinuating the deadly female, or the femme fatale. The siren in this poem may also be seen as an illustration of the loneliness that comes from manipulating and betraying a person’s heart. With her song, she provides a warning to the readers about the fate that will follow, these might be a glimpse into Atwood’s personal life. Literary Devices Atwood uses several literary devices in her poem for example:

Repetition: : "I will tell a secret to you/ to you, only to you...Only you, you can/ you are unique/ at last"

Allusion:
there is an allusion to sirens, which are mythical creatures, disguised as beautiful women whose voices draw in men. Those men are usually killed, but sometimes they get free and forget the song thereafter.


Figurative Language: In Atwood's poem there is no use of figurative language and no usage of simile, metaphor, or personification. The End
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