The Use Of Isolation In Her Kind And Margaret Atwood's Siren Song

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Often throughout history, if an individual sticks out from society due to any eccentricities, they are shunned. This removal of a person undoubtedly creates a myriad of mental issues, its entirely dehumanizing, especially when there is a blatant lack of emotional outlet. Poets, through their career, have a unique opportunity at an outlet for emotions, which can combat loneliness. Anne Sexton’s “Her Kind” and Margaret Atwood’s “Siren Song” are both hauntingly lonely poems, and a sense of isolation is expertly carried throughout both, but Atwood’s poem is able to outshine Sexton’s due to more efficacious use of literary devices. In both works the voice of the speaker carries an inherent loneliness, verging on desperation even; however, in Atwood’s…show more content…
These two elements are large components of a poets’ style, and can aid in creating an identity within the field. For Atwood’s work her word choice is poignant, and she relies on lyric of the words to carry a poetic vibe. This is seen clearly the lack of rhyme throughout the poem, and maybe clearest in the third stanza, “the song nobody knows / because anyone who has heard it / is dead, and the others can't remember” (Atwood 7-9). The lack of punctuation, coupled with lack of rhyme, creates a series of impactful statements, further developing the idea of a call to action. This thought process is eloquently put by Walker, who compares Atwood’s use of syntax and diction to reconstruction, which allows the reader to create, or construct, their own thoughts on a poet’s creative choices, even word choices which are based upon mythology. Such questioning prompts the reader to delve farther into the theme and meaning of the poem. Sexton, on the other hand, uses heavy punctuation and an ABABCBC rhyme scheme. This rhyme gives the poem a more gentle flow, which is less jarring to the reader, one could even call it more passive. Sexton’s diction contains a higher level of conversational terms, “I have ridden in your cart, driver” (15). Such terminology develops the confessional, so much so that one can imagine Sexton whispering the poem into your ear, and this is a point made by Hedley. Furthermore, the critic states that the motherly phrases of Sexton, “Fixed supper” (17), “rearranging the disalligned” (18) and “filled them with…innumerable goods” (15-16), leads the reader to believe the poet at face value, rather than questioning her, which prevents deep examination and an intent focus on theme. Falling into the age-old mother archetype actually prevents Sexton from conveying a stronger theme than

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