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

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Homer and Margaret Atwood portrayed the sirens in their own unique ways through their poems The Odyssey and SIREN SONG. The sirens’ song differed in each poem, with Homer’s version emphasizing wisdom and Atwood’s version portraying a cry for help. The imagery used by the poets also differed, with Homer describing the sirens as beautiful and harmless creatures while Atwood depicted them as hideous bird-ladies. The tones of the two poems were also contrasting, with Homer’s poem being more exciting and Atwood’s poem being gloomy. Despite having the same subject matter, the two poems showed different perspectives on the mythical sirens.

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Every writer, author, and poet presents stories in their own unique way. Homer, the poet who wrote “The Odyssey,” and Margaret Atwood, the poet behind “SIREN SONG,” offer contrasting perspectives on the sirens. The songs sung by the sirens in both poems differ from each other. Furthermore, the use of imagery by these poets depicts the sirens in distinct ways. Additionally, the tones employed by the poets vary. Despite sharing a common subject, these two poems stand apart from each other. One notable distinction lies in the song performed by the sirens for the sailors.

“The Odyssey” and “SIREN SONG” present contrasting perspectives on the sirens and their enticing song. In the former, it is believed that by listening to the sirens’ song, one would gain wisdom. Meanwhile, the latter poem portrays the song as a distress call. The two poets also employ different imagery to depict the sirens. Homer describes their voices as sweet and delightful, painting them as beautiful and harmless creatures. In contrast, Margaret Atwood depicts them as repulsive bird-like females capable of manipulating men into tragic shipwrecks, as she asks, “will you get me out of this bird suit”.

These two poets had contrasting views of the mythical sirens, as well as differing tones in their poems. Homer used words such as “sharp sword,” “strong hands,” and “ravishing voices” to create an exciting tone that would captivate readers. In contrast, Margaret Atwood’s poem used words like “beached skull,” “dead,” “squatting,” “maniacs,” “fatal,” and “boring,” creating a depressing and gloomy tone. Despite both poets writing about the irresistible song of the sirens, the songs portrayed in each poem were distinct.

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

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