January 14 is International Kite Day, which grew out of Uttarayan, a major kite festival in India which marks the beginning of summer there.
Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), one of the major poets of the 20th century, was born in Northern Ireland, and later lived in Dublin for many years. He was the author of over 20 volumes of poetry and criticism, and won the 1955 Nobel Prize for Literature. Heaney taught at Harvard University (1985-2006) and served as Oxford Professor of Poetry (1989-1994). He died at the age of 74 in 2013.
Heaney wrote “A Kite for Aibhin” as a welcome for his new-born granddaughter
To read Seamus Heaney’s poem click:
A Kite for Aibhin
by Seamus Heaney
After “L’Aquilone” by Giovanni Pascoli
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.
“A Kite for Aibhin” excerpted from Human Chain, © 2010 by Seamus Heaney – Farrar, Straus & Giroux