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Blog 2: The Siren’s Call

Can you write a poem along the lines of “The World is too much with us” that directly reflects your experience in the 21st century?

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Day and night we drift; sailors without port,

Stranded in seas to defy even Neptune,

Wretched mires where frivolities cavort.

Siren songs call upon the seafarer,

Into the depths they willfully sink,

Clutching stones to drag the bearer,

Until at last they can no longer think.

Vision sacrificed for far sight,

Knowledge gained for impotence,

That no more does life excite,

For anything of substance.

But hark! See on high above,

The stars call a tune of their own,

A melody worthy of true love,

To vanquish the dull monotone.

So close fast your ears against the world,

That you may see with eyes unfettered

The temptations of the siren unfurled,

And from enticement be tethered.

Waterhouse, John. Odysseus and the Sirens. 1891, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Image courtesy of

Within this piece I’ve attempted to metaphorically describe the enthralling influence phones and social media have on concentration and an ability to appreciate the world around us. There is so much low level ‘noise’ in play every hour of the day. In determining what to use as imagery within the poem I was inspired by Wordsworth on his invocation of the sea and heavens alongside figures of Greek Mythology.  I’ve possessed a fascination with the Siren, of which the ‘call’ seemed a most appropriate metaphor for this poem. The journey of Odysseus and his men, who blocked their ears whilst he tethered himself to the mast, is a good lesson for us all. Limit your exposure or block it out altogether, lest you too be dragged down to the murky depths below.  


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