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    (Original post by matildamatilda)
    I'm studying Heaney for GCSE English (OCR), and today we looked at 'Serenades'. The problem is, no one really understands it, including the teacher, and we all ended up having a massive debate on bird symbolism which was a total waste of time.
    Can anyone tell me what the poem is exactly about, to whom it is addressed (is it a love poem to Ireland?), what the message is and what the last stanza is about (also in relation to the rest of the poem).
    Thank you in advance

    I've never even heard of this poem! Perhaps you could post a copy of it? It's not in any of my Heaney collections :excited:
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    I know! No one seems to know it, its kind of obscure...
    Here it is:
    The Irish nightingale
    Is a sedge-warbler,
    A little bird with a big voice
    Kicking up a racket all night.Not what you'd expect
    From the musical nation.
    I haven't even heard one�
    Nor an owl, for that matter.

    My serenades have been
    The broken voice of a crow
    In a draught or a dream,
    The wheeze of bats

    Or the ack-ack
    Of the tramp corncrake
    Lost in a no-man's-land
    Between combines and chemicals.

    So fill the bottles, love,
    Leave them inside their cots,
    And if they do wake us, well,
    So would the sedge-warbler.

    Thank you!
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