Seamus Heaney

(April 13,1939 - August 30, 2013 / Castledàwson, County Londonderry)

A Kite for Aibhín


After 'L'Aquilone' by Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912)

Air from another life and time and place,
Pale blue heavenly air is supporting
A white wing beating high against the breeze,

And yes, it is a kite! As when one afternoon
All of us there trooped out
Among the briar hedges and stripped thorn,

I take my stand again, halt opposite
Anahorish Hill to scan the blue,
Back in that field to launch our long-tailed comet.

And now it hovers, tugs, veers, dives askew,
Lifts itself, goes with the wind until
It rises to loud cheers from us below.

Rises, and my hand is like a spindle
Unspooling, the kite a thin-stemmed flower
Climbing and carrying, carrying farther, higher

The longing in the breast and planted feet
And gazing face and heart of the kite flier
Until string breaks and—separate, elate—

The kite takes off, itself alone, a windfall.

Submitted: Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Edited: Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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Comments about this poem (A Kite for Aibhín by Seamus Heaney )

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  • Abhipsa Tripathy (6/10/2014 7:13:00 AM)

    Wow! a very nice poem on kite, I have never experienced to fly a kite but I enjoyed it very much & I invite you to red my poems sir. (Report) Reply

  • Joe Breunig (12/10/2013 5:04:00 AM)

    An enjoyable piece; I too have lost many a kite; RIP Seamus.

    -Joe Breunig,
    Reaching Towards His Unbounded Glory (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (9/5/2013 7:18:00 PM)

    A nice poem in the art of flying a kite. I remember that special
    activity on a clear blue day and not so windy. Still the calm is
    disturbed by an unforeseen gust of wind that causes the kite
    to spiral upward and flutter down to get lodged in a tree. Unable
    to dislodge the kite the string is cut and the kite is rising to heights
    unknown. A thoughtful write. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

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