Poem – A – Day: April 3rd – Siren’s Song by Margaret Atwood and Salome’s Dancing Lesson by Dorothy Parker

I am feeling a little bit menacing today and couldn’t decide between these two poems so I decided to do them both.

Siren Song

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 beached skulls

the song nobody knows
because anyone who had 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.

by Margaret Atwood

Salome’s Dancing Lesson

She that begs a little boon
(Heel and toe! Heel and toe!)
Little gets – and nothing soon.
(No, no, no! No, no, no!)
She that calls for costly thing
Priceless finds her offerings –
What’s impossible to kings?
(Heel and toe! Heel and toe!)

Kings are shaped as other men.
(Step and turn! Step and turn!)
Ask what none may ask again.
(Will you learn? Will you learn?)
Lovers whine, and kisses pall
Jewels tarnish, kingdoms fall –
Death’s the rarest prize of all!
(Step and turn! Step and turn!)

Veils are woven to be dropped.
(One, two, three! One, two, three!)
Aging eyes are slowest stopped.
(Quietly! Quietly!)
She’s whose body’s young and cool
Has no need of dancing-school – Scratch a king and find a fool!
(One, two, three! One, two, three!)

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About Ciarrai

Hi. My name is Kerry but here online I tend to go by the Gaelic version of my name, Ciarrai. I am a woman in my mid-30's who lives on Long Island, NY, with my husband, Rob, several guitars, a Nikon D40, more yarn, beads and books than I care to admit to and a cat who has a million nicknames and quite a few theme songs. I have a B.A. in Psychology and have recently returned to college to pursue a teaching degree so that I can eventually get a job as a High School English teacher. In addition to my major obsessions (Reading, Beading, Knitting, Music and Photography), I also enjoy playing Board Games, going to Renaissance Faires, Museums and Broadway Musicals.
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2 Responses to Poem – A – Day: April 3rd – Siren’s Song by Margaret Atwood and Salome’s Dancing Lesson by Dorothy Parker

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Portable Dorothy Parker |

  2. Pingback: Book Review: The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker | Ciarrai Studios

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