Saturday, 14 July 2012

Siren Song

Picture by Bo Bartlett

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

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

the song nobody
because anyone who has 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
looking picturesque and mythical

with these two feathery
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

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

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

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

by Margaret Atwood

Via 3 Quarks Daily


  1. So that's what happened to you when you innocently sailed your ship past the treacherous shoals of the RDG blog. I see. Well, I would have thought you would have had sense enough to lash yourself to the mast. Or is there more to this story? Is the siren song so maddening that you unloosed the knots of your own accord and jumped in over your head?

  2. My favorite Margaret Atwood poem:

    You fit into me
    like a hook into an eye

    a fish hook
    an open eye

  3. Is that a song by the 'Police?

  4. I've loved Atwood's fiction, but I haven't read much of her poetry. I suppose I had this internal bias that a great fiction writer couldn't possibly be also a great poet ... but I do love this. I love the 'bite' at the end. And Bo Bartlett is a nice find as well.

    @Max - are you suggesting that I'm a harpy???


  5. Never. Only that Soub may be in over his head.


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