In Louise Glück’s poem, Siren, the speaker is in the role of a mistress. The tone of the poem could be interpreted as resentful. The woman in the poem has dropped her life to be with a married man, who is refusing to leave his wife for her.
I didn’t want to go to Chicago with you.
I wanted to marry you, I wanted
Your wife to suffer.
That stanza shows how she has given up so much for her to be with this man. In my own interpretation, I said that it sounded like the man has made a previous promise to her that he would divorce his wife to be with her.
One major stigma about this poem is that most films and other writings depict the “other woman” as a young, devilish, sex-driven woman, but the speaker in this poem is hopelessly in love with this man. The title of this poem is a give-away to the negative stigma that is talked about in this poem. When she says,
I was a good waitress.
I could carry eight drinks.
It shows that she had a life before she met this man, and she dropped everything to be with him, but he isn’t going to leave his wife anytime soon to be with her. At the end of the poem, she reminisces on everything she has missed out on because she has been waiting on this man.
In the dream, she’s weeping, the bus she’s on
Is moving away. With one hand
She’s waving; the other strokes
An egg carton full of babies.
From my own interpretation, I believe that the woman on the bus is the speaker. While it is an odd visual, she is hurt because she put her entire life on pause for a man who is still in love with his wife. She could have found another man to love her and to take care of her, with whom she could have had kids with, but she is disappointed with herself because she was blinded by love.