A Kite for Aibhín

Heaney’s poem of greeting to Aibhín echoes L’Aquilone, a lyric written by Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli.  This final piece was added late to the collection in celebration of the birth of Heaney’s second grand-daughter, Aibhín [aye-veen] born to son Michael and Emer. The happiness of an event from the past is recalled in honour of the family’s new ‘high-flyer’. Air, at once space, life-giving force and lyric song bears a memory from another life and time and place. On this auspicious day, air has a spiritual depth: Pale-blue andheavenly. Aloft, within it, is a sign of life: A white wing beating high against the breeze. The emblem takes shape: yes, it is a kite. Heaney relives a moment when, father then, All of us trooped out into familiar surroundings Among the briar hedges […]