Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


A Kite for Aibhin

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.

Credit


Excerpted from Human Chain by Seamus Heaney. Published in September 2010 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. Copyright © 2010 by Seamus Heaney. All rights reserved.

Author


Seamus Heaney

Born in Ireland in 1939, Seamus Heaney was the author of numerous poetry collections, including Human Chain (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). He split his time between Dublin, Ireland, and Boston, where he taught at Harvard University for many years. In 1995, Heaney received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Date Published: 2010-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/kite-aibhin