Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Day 96: Siren Song

Staying on the mythic theme, here's a poem from writer Margaret Atwood that uses the sirens of myth - those mermaid temptress creatures that would lure sailors to their death with their bewitching song - to make a comment on love.

Never the romantic, Atwood's fierce realism shines through here. What else is love but a trick, an illusion, a siren song that lures us to our death under false pretences, 'a boring song', but one that works every time because love makes fools of us all? (especially men she seems to be saying!)

Not for the faint-hearted or romantics is Atwood's work!

Siren-Song - Margaret Atwood

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who had heard it
is dead, and the others can’t remember.
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
with these two feathery maniacs,
I don’t enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song

is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

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

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