'And yes, it is a kite!'

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A Kite For Aibhín
by Seamus Heaney


A Kite For Aibhín
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.

by Seamus Heaney

'A Kite for Aibhín'. Taken from 'Human Chain' by Seamus Heaney(Published by Faber & Faber Limited, 2010)


Poem as Friend to Fiona

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A Kite For Aibhínby Seamus Heaney

In this episode you will hear Founder of The Poetry Exchange, Fiona Bennett talking about the poem that has been a friend to her - 'A Kite for Aibhín' by Seamus Heaney.

For more inspiration surrounding Heaney and his work, visit Seamus Heaney Home Place: 



Since making the live recording of this conversation, we have realised an error of pronunciation in the title - the correct pronunciation of 'Aibhín' is ay_veen. Thank you to a careful listener for pointing this out to us.

Fiona founded the project in 2014, with the view of enabling people to explore, discover and voice their friendships with poems, so this is a particularly special episode as it captures her first experience of an Exchange.

The Poetry Exchange team had a wonderful few days together in Carcassonne, South of France last year and it was here that Fiona joined fellow Poetry Exchange team members, John Prebble and Becca Manley to talk about her friend.

'A Kite For Aibhín' is read by Becca Manley.


We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.

In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world. 


We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.