Poem Analysis: The Sirens

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The Sirens Would you choose to listen to a beautiful song if you knew the consequence resulted in death? In Greek mythology, the Sirens lured sailors with their enchanting music, but then killed them. Homer’s “Book 12”, Margaret Atwood’s poem, titled “Siren Song”, and Romare Bearden’s artwork, “The Sirens’ Song”, convey the Sirens both similarly and different. Throughout the three Siren pieces, they all show the Sirens as seductive, they have the same outcome, and they have similar moods. All of these pieces display the Sirens as seductive. For example, in Margaret Atwood’s poem, it states, “The song/ that is irresistible” (line 2-3). Not a single person can ignore their singing. Likewise, Homer’s Book 12 shows this in line 37, which…show more content…
The point of view, the Sirens’ intentions, and the physical traits of the Sirens contrast each other in these three pieces. Depending on the piece, the Sirens’ intentions differ. Margaret Atwood’s poem talks about how the Sirens want to tell the man a secret, and do not mean any harm. (lines 19-20) On the contrary, in Homer’s Book 12, the Sirens intentionally lure men in to kill them. It states, “Odysseus . . . come over here. Let your ship pause awhile, so you can hear the songs we two will sing.” (lines 150-153) Romare Bearden’s artwork shows yet a different intention, by the connection between the Sirens and the man on the boat. Next, the physical traits of the Sirens change between pieces. Margaret Atwood’s poem depicts the Sirens as inhuman by stating, “will you get me out of this bird suit?” (line 12) On the other hand, Homer’s Book 12 mentions the Sirens by saying, “They’ll be sitting in a meadow, surrounded by a pile, a massive heap, of rotting human bones encased in shrivelled skin.” (lines 43-46) Counter to this, in Romare Bearden’s artwork, it illustrates the Sirens as young, good-looking women; as shown on the bottom of the picture. Finally, the point of view of each piece alternates. In Margaret Atwood’s poem, she takes on the point of view of the Sirens; as shown in line 17, that says, “I don’t enjoy singing”. Conversely, Homer’s Book 12 tells the story from the point of view of
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