Margaret Atwood's Siren Song is a poem that seems to attempt to captivate and lure the reader in the fashion of it's mythical subject matter. The first few lines start in a way that grabs your attention and invokes a desire to know or learn more. This is the one song everyone, would like to learn: the song, that is irresistible.? Atwood leaves you feeling curios without any further hint as to the secret ofthe song?.
The first section of the poem recounts the sirens and their deadly songs. The sirens inhabited an island in the Aegean and, in Greek Mythology, are described as having the body of a bird and the head of a woman. The sirens had such lovely voices that the sailors who heard the songs were lured into grounding their boats on the ragged rocks where the sirens sang. Even knowing the outcome was certain death. Many will recognize the legendary creatures from the story of Odysseus. The sirens attempted to lure Odysseus and his men to their death but he was prepared and escaped their song by blocking his crewmen's ears with wax and tying himself to the mast of his ship.
The second part of Atwood's poem focuses on the siren herself. The siren confesses her unhappiness, or state of despair at her fate.Shall I tell you the secret, And if I do, will you get me, out of this bird suit? I don't enjoy it here, squatting on this island, looking picturesque and mythical.? She offers to tell the secret of her irresistible song, but she mainly talks about herself and cries out for help. This song, is a cry for help: Help me!? It sounds almost as though she would rather be somewhere or someone else, rather than sitting on her this island reminiscing about the victims she has lured to their death with her song. In exchange for the secrets behind the siren song, she is asking the mortal man to free her fromthis bird suit,? attempting to possibly explain her remorse or unhappiness, .
Despite the previous words, the final verses seem to indicate that the siren is not quite the helpless, repentant and sorrowful creature she was portraying,at last, Alas, it is a boring song, but it works every time.