Siren Song

Original Text: 
Margaret Atwood, Selected Poems (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1976): 195-96.
1This is the one song everyone
2would like to learn: the song
3that is irresistible:
4the song that forces men
5to leap overboard in squadrons
6even though they see beached skulls
7the song nobody knows
8because anyone who has heard it
9is dead, and the others can't remember.
10Shall I tell you the secret
11and if I do, will you get me
12out of this bird suit?
13I don't enjoy it here
14squatting on this island
15looking picturesque and mythical
16with these two feathery maniacs,
17I don't enjoy singing
18this trio, fatal and valuable.
19I will tell the secret to you,
20to you, only to you.
21Come closer. This song
22is a cry for help: Help me!
23Only you, only you can,
24you are unique
25at last. Alas
26it is a boring song
27but it works every time.
Publication Start Year: 
1974
Publication Notes: 
You Are Happy (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1974).
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2009
Form: 
Special Copyright: 

"Siren Song" &#169; Margaret Atwood. Printed gratis, and specifically for <i>Representative Poetry Online</i>, with permission of the author. As published in <i>Selected Poems</i> (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1976). Any other use, including reproduction for any purposes, educational or otherwise, will require explicit written permission from Margaret Atwood.