Siren's Song

You take risks. But Ulysses was prudent. You pass judgement on him. You say that he didn't let the sirens' song seduce him; he plugged his crews' ears with wax and tied himself to the mast of his ship. Then he did listen to the song, but he avoided its effect. He thought he had listened without risk: he heard and didn't hear. The sirens sing to make men give in. They put to the test their power of transfiguration. And also their vocation of permanence, which is only their mortal leap toward license. The sirens say: don't go on, surrender. Ulysses answers: they are waiting for me somewhere else. Somewhere else.

Carlos Fuentes (1928-)