“Siren Song”


12 Responses to “Siren Song”

  1. Ebony Edwards-Ellis Says:

    The protagonist seems to have an unusually strong maternal streak. In fact, it can be argued that she was Heidi’s “real” mother because she provided so much care for and so psychologically invested in the child. The protagonist seems to feel that this so.

    The entire piece evokes a pervasive sense of loss. Her use of onamatopoetic language (“wailing”, “cry”, “crack of dry branches”,”screamed”, etc.) intensifies this feeling. Early in the piece, she refers to Heidi as the “child I believed to be mine” and constantly ruminates about what happens when a “forever relationship is no more.” And the author’s repeated use of the word “safe” indicates that she feels threatened and bereft by all the losses that she has suffered.

    Altogether, a hauntingly lyrical piece. I really enjoyed this story.

  2. Ye hao Chen (John) Says:

    This poem is a very peculiar SOS. It starts off bluffing with the word irresistible, then keeps you reading on by keeping the mystery up.

  3. Rizwan Bakhshi Says:

    The main character of the story seems unsafe because of loses in the past. Even before she goes out to see what has caused the alarm she is imagining and wonders if it would be safe to go out. She is very protective of the child who is in her care just as a biological mother would be. As a parent she wants to protect her child but knows that she cannot, even if she wanted to, (“Except I couldn’t. There were too many things that were bigger than both of us….” ). She also feels sad because when Heidi wouldn’t talk to her because she was too busy playing with her friends and wouldn’t write her back even after getting the self addressed envelops.

  4. Nancy Yi Says:

    The safety and security of the woman’s family of two women and a child has been broken. The only thing that has soothed her sense of loss is the hope that the child will one day come back to her. The thought however seems to be wishful thinking, as if the character knows that it will not happen. It is a cry that will never be answered.

  5. Paule Seide Says:

    The story as much as the writer’s style captured me. It focuses on the emotional status of a woman as she loses her female partner and above all, the child they were raising together. The main character floats from a feeling of disillusionment”… walking with the child I believed to be mine””, to on of mourning the lost relationship with both the mother “It means lots of days to wander the nearly deserted lakeshore, time to think about what to do when a forever relationship is no more…” and Heidi herself, the child”…and over the months that turned into a year came the time when you were too busy to come in from play to answer my telephone call; too busy to return my stamped, addressed envelopes. Less slowly came the shift of allegiances.” She is trying to come with terms with her new situation and is afraid that she might lose also the one thing remaining of her relationship: Heidi.I also liked the author’s way of making us relate to the story. Besides the typical situations of a struggling couple with a child that she mentioned ( the fighting while the child witnesses it and screams stop, the setting up of visiting schedule…), the memories of raising Heidi, she switches between the first person, to a “we” and a second person narration which is the first time I see an author do it.It is compelling in a sense that the character’s appeal to the daughter, her fears and hurt are more compelling. Also, I think that the author uses situations instead of imagery as a foreboding of what will happen. In p.99 top of the page, she mentioned the reaction of the central character when the alarm went off for the first time and she had to find out the trigger which turns out to be a man. A man that said” I must’ve caused a short. You know, a break in the electricity can make one of those things go off.”It’s almost as if that moment had been an intrusion and would set the pace for what would happen to the relationship between the two women(the other woman married a man). That particuliar instant also gave us a special glance as to what kind of person and mother that main character is.A glance at her when everything is not fine, when it’s not about teaching Heidi how to ski or putting her to bed. Which bring me to ask my fellow classmate Ebony Edwards-Ellis why she is so sure the character is a great mother. Is it just because took care of and invested in the child psychologically? or is it because she thinks that she is not the safest choice for the child. She even said it herself when the incident in the woods happened because she realized then how little she knew about being a parent. Is her sacrifice of letting the other partner be Heidi’s guardian the proof of a mother’s love or is it the sign of incapacity to really be a parent and not just a caretaker. I also disagree on the meaning of the word ” safe” in this text because I think that the character’s reference to the word safe more than once is connected to the wailing siren. I think the wailing is her sorrow that she cannot bear and the way for her to deal with it and keep herself safe is by remembering those moments with Heidi and by hoping that she will never forget her and she will come to visit” The peace that holds the wail at bay is the idea that someday you’ll decide to get behing the wheel of the car you just wrangles for $500, with the driver’s license that’s still warm in your pocket, and you’ll find my driveway because you remember how we played Prince and Tina Turner….”.

  6. Onyekachi Ukwu Says:

    The “Siren Song,” by Catherine Reid portrays the feeling of loss and loneliness. The constant use of the word alarm that represents a sudden feeling of fear of being alone. The protagonist constant memories with the child Heidi all points to feeling of emptiness.

  7. Farrah Benoit Says:

    I was presented with an example of a loving and protctive mother who was constantly on edge. She went through and unsettling world wind of events that ledt her single (from a domestic parenrship) and a single parent. The author did a wonderful job at setting the tone of the story, and through the use of poetic metaphor it can be agreeably described as sad.

  8. Faith Nwodo Says:

    The story illustrates the affection of a woman or mother towards her child.The character under an unpleasant circumstances realizes what it feels like to be a caretaker.it is known to a child that grownups are not scared and are proctective, with the situation at hand she had to show control ” i knew you’d take care of everything”(p.99).The author gives us the chance to know how involved the character has being in the child’s life through the memories they had shared,i felt a sense of trying not to let go.

  9. Mina Batool Says:

    It was very interesting in the way it shows, a woman who longs for that role of mother. At end she says nothing ever filled the loss of a child in her life. She also took care of this girl, she did everything a mother does, yet only to lose her in the end. Also, her idea of family is very different from the norm, where she describes it as two women, a daughter, a cat, and the kittens. They lived together this way and she never wanted it to change. I think she is also trying to convey that one takes care of children so much and they how they all eventually leave. Most parents wish that their children didnt grow up and always stayed under their care.

  10. Rachel Shupe Says:

    I was intrigued by the use of the word siren in both ways: the alarm and the mythical creature with the golden voice. We breifly spoke about this in class, but I wanted to bring up the idea of the siren as an alarm. An alarm, even on a small scale, is something to be immediately attended to and fixed. It creates a sense of emergency as few other things can. For instance, when your smoke detector goes off due to smoke coming from your kitchen, everthing is immediately dropped in the attempt to shut off the alarm. It is all consuming. I get the feeling that this is the author’s way of conveying the feeling of a constant emergency, as if you have just burned yourself while the fire alarm is going off all the time. How does one deal with that?

  11. Leah Mohammed Says:

    The beginning of this story had me confused. I did not know what I was reading until I realized that Reid was doing a recollective piece. It was a bit saddening to know how much of a bond she shared with this little girl, and how much it hurted to know that the bond was being broken as she grew older. Very creative to see how she related to the siren of an alarm to a siren song. A siren alerts you to become in a state of panic until you know for sure that the situation is all cleared up (**I think she uses the clearing up of the fog for this**) and that life can go back to being the way it was (**meaning that she can get back that bond with the little girl**). I think that this is what she was looking forward to…but she knows that life goes on and in time people change. This was a sad piece to me.

  12. Ranese Southerland Says:

    As Leah said I also was very confused at the beginning of the story. I wasn’t sure if she was breaking into the house or what. This mystery and confusion lead me to read on and understand the representation of the siren. The way Reid uses the siren both metaphorically and literally was brillant

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