Following the domestic tribulations of ‘Summer Home’ the Heaney family back home; harmony has been restored, the children are sleeping soundly and love is renewed. The poet celebrates the Serenades to be heard, before inviting his wife to shut out the world and retire for the night with him. Heaney engages in a spot of leg-pulling – the Irish nightingale is a figment of Irish folklore imagination. ‘Their’ Irish version is a sedge-warbler, a bird noted for the unromantic din it makes (A little bird with a big voice/ Kicking up a racket all night) decidedly unemblematic of Irish musical culture: Not what you’d expect/ From the musical nation. Wherever the Irish nightingale is supposed to perform it has never […]