A Kite for Aibhín

Heaney’s late addition to the collection is a poem of greeting to his second grand-daughter, Aibhín [aye-veen] born to son Michael and Emer. It echoes L’Aquilone, a lyric written by Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli.  Heaney dips into elements of the original but adapts and edits to meet his own immediate writerly needs. Some factors are shared: a special event triggers a joyful and happy memory lying forgotten in the consciousness; memory offers at once pleasure hope and nostalgia. The evocation of succeeding generations and a family’s enjoyment at moments of celebration, the allegory of kite tugging against control and influence and unborn child waiting for release fuse into a memorable hymn of welcome. Heaney celebrates what is nearest and dearest in his […]