Comparing Portrayals of Sirens in ‘Siren Song’ and the Odessy

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Every writer, author, and poet portrays stories in their own way. Homer , the poet who wrote “The Odyssey”, and Margaret Atwood, the poet who wrote “SIREN SONG”, have different points of view on the sirens. The song that the sirens sang was different in both of the poems. The poets’ opposing uses of imagery illustrated the sirens differently. In addition, the tones that the poets used were different. Although these two poems were written about the same subject, they are still different. One difference is the song that the sirens sang to the sailors.

In “The Odyssey”, the sirens’ song was about how if you sail to them and hear their song, then you will leave a wiser man. However, in the poem “SIREN SONG”, the song was about how the song is a cry for help. The two poets also used imagery to illustrate the sirens in different ways. Homer wrote “he has heard the honeyed voices pouring from our lips”, which made the sirens sound like beautiful and harmless creatures. However, Margaret Atwood wrote, “will you get me out of this bird suit”, which made the sirens out to look like hideous bird-ladies that manipulate men into crashing their ships and dying.

These two writers’ poems also had contrasting tones. In the poem written by Homer, words were used such as sharp sword, strong hands, and ravishing voices. These words set a more exciting tone that might keep the reader interested. On the other hand, in Margaret Atwood’s poem, words were used like beached skull, dead, squatting, maniacs, fatal, and boring. These words set a depressing and gloomy tone. These two poets had partially opposing views of the mythical sirens. Both wrote about their irresistible song, but the songs were different in each poem.

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Comparing Portrayals of Sirens in ‘Siren Song’ and the Odessy. (2016, Oct 22). Retrieved from