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Siren Song
BY MARGARET ATWOOD
 
This is the one song everyone 
would like to learn: the song 
that is irresistible: 
 
the song that forces men 
to leap overboard in squadrons 
even though they see the beached skulls 
 
the song nobody knows 
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 island 
looking picturesque and mythical 
 
with these two feathery maniacs, 
I don't enjoy singing 
this trio, fatal and valuable. 
 
I will tell the secret to you, 
to you, only to you. 
Come closer. This song 
 
is a cry for help: Help me! 
Only you, only you can, 
you are unique 
 
at last. Alas 
it is a boring song 
but it works every time.
 
Margaret Atwood, “Siren Song” from Selected Poems 1965-1975. Copyright © 1974, 1976 by Margaret Atwood. Reprinted with the permission of the author and Houghton Mifflin Company.
Source: The Poetry Anthology 1912-2002 (2002)
 
via: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/detail/32778
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