10 October 2012
3.05 Free Writing Practice
Margaret Atwood’s “Siren Song” is written with a crafty yet concise one-sided dialogue with a tone of an almost dark and malicious sense of humor. It is a clever work containing one of the three alluring Sirens, alluding to Homer’s The Odyssey, successfully captivating a mariner’s attention to “save” her. The poet starts the slow and soft with an appealing cry and by using the device of enjambment, is able to speed up and introduce a more urgent tone of deception, “I will tell this secret to you/to you, only you/Come closer”. Atwood is able to make it appear that the Siren is discontent and in need of rescue, only to fool the mariner along with the reader.
Even though the poem seems rather callous and heartless, the poet is able to make it rather humorous with the Siren claiming that it is only “a bird suit” and “feathery mechanics”  rather than her actual half-bird half-woman form. Atwood also uses irony as an underlying theme when the Siren was the actual marauder and the sailor was the one who needed saving. But the most intriguing aspect of this poem is the deceitfulness used by the Siren in how she will reveal the secret of the song when in fact she was already using it.
1.Atwood, Margaret. “Siren Song.” Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense. 9th ed. Editors Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Boston: Thomson, 2006. p. 943.