by Margaret Atwood
Stanza 7 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song
- Hey, it looks like our speaker is flattering us some more. She's even going so far as to say she'll tell her secret only to us (you).
- So we're feeling pretty special right about now.
- Notice that the speaker keeps repeating "you" in lines 19 and 20 in order to further our "special" feeling. The anaphora we see in "to you" makes those lines comes across like a special delivery made exclusively for us. It's as if she's luring us in with those personalized and flattering words.
- But we also see that she's asking us to "come closer" in line 21. So it's not as if she's coming to us. We have to come to her.
- Aha. Maybe we're catching a bit of her sneaky ways of tricking us into coming closer to her, like all of those other dead sailors.
- Her voice even sounds seductive when she says "come closer." We can almost see our speaker curling her forefinger in her sexy Siren way.
- On a deeper level, the speaker may be alluding to the ways man is so often lured into traps because of his own vanity. Because he thinks he's "special," he also thinks he's invincible and will evade the same danger that others have succumbed to.
- Newsflash: he isn't, and he doesn't.
- The line break at the end of line 21 also keeps us on the edge of our seat as we wait to hear what "this song" is all about. The break acts as a kind of ellipsis (…) between stanzas that could quite possibly contain that elusive "secret."