Academy of American Poets
View Cart | Log In 
Subscribe | More Info 
Find a Poet or Poem
Advanced Search >
Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney was born on April 13, 1939, in Castledawson, County Derry,...
More >
Want more poems?
Subscribe to our
Poem-A-Day emails.
Related Poems
by Robert Frost
by Linda Bierds
How it comes to pass
by Megan Johnson
Varieties of Flight
by Ellen Hinsey
by Amy Lowell
Poems about Flying
by Joan Larkin
by Adam Zagajewski
Failing and Flying
by Jack Gilbert
by James Dickey
by Sarah Arvio
Flying at Night
by Ted Kooser
Related Prose
Remembering Seamus Heaney
by and Jane Hirshfield and Anne Waldman and C. D. Wright and Juan Felipe Herrera and Mark Doty and Marilyn Nelson
Sponsor a Poet Page | Add to Notebook | Email to Friend | Print

A Kite for Aibhín

by Seamus Heaney

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.

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.
Larger TypeLarger Type | Home | Help | Contact Us | Privacy Policy Copyright © 1997 - 2014 by Academy of American Poets.