Last week I heard Saeed Jones and Isaac Fitzgerald talk about writing and friendship at a local literary festival. Both of these writers have new books out; Jones's Alive at the End of the World is a collection of poetry and Fitzgerald's Dirtbag, Massachusetts is a memoir in essays. Fitzgerald asked Jones which poems influenced him to start writing poetry, and in addition to work by the poets Jones calls "The Housewives" (Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton), he brought up Margaret Atwood's "Siren Song," which he read as a teenager. "Siren Song" is a persona poem, told from the point of view of one of the mythical beings, and Jones said until reading it he hadn't realized that a poem could could lie. It inspired him to go home and write.
I couldn't resist looking it up later, and must say that I like this one, too. Talk about unreliable narrators!
The Poetry Friday roundup is at Kathryn Appel's place on September 16th.
Photo by ST: The fountain (but not a siren) at the Yaddo Gardens, Saratoga Springs, NY