As we prepare for our 9 weeks exam, it is important to go back and review the lessons learned about poetry and the analysis of poetry in our last unit, as you will need to know this on the exam – luckily, we can do this through poetry about the epic we just read: The Odyssey.


In class we will be examining three poems whose primary source of inspiration and allusion is Homer’s epic – Marerget Atwood’s poem ‘Siren Song’, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem ‘The Ancient Gesture’ and Constantine Cavfey’s poem ‘Ithaca’. As you examine each poem, remember to follow the steps of analysis that we have been practicing – TOASTTT.

Make sure you are able and comfortable completing a TOASTTT analysis for each of these three poems, and that you can answer the questions below:

  1. What is ironic about the siren’s song in the poem ‘Siren Song’?
  2. What is the ‘ancient gesture’ that Millay mentions, and how do Penelope and Odysseus express this gesture differently?
  3. What is ‘Ithaca’ supposed to mean/represent in the poem by Cafvey?


Please click the links below to access the poems if you need them:

The Ancient Gesture

The Siren’s Song