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Saturday, 12 October 2013

High Flight

As I have not posted for a while due to time restraint I have decided to work my way back to Blogging by reposting some of my favourite previous posts. This one is from my former Blog in 2006.

High Flight

John Magee was born in Shanghai, China where his English mother and American father were missionaries. He was educated in England, became a US citizen and learned to fly in Ontario, Canada. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was sent to England before the USA had entered the war. He became a Spitfire pilot and his love of flying is abundantly obvious in this poem which makes me feel as though I were flying when I read it. It was written on the 3rd of September 1941.
High Flight by John Gillespie Magee Jr.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air...
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew --
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of Go

The poem is allegedly derivative of several earlier works by other writers but nevertheless stands up as a masterpiece of a description of flying. Three months after writing this poem, in December 1941, he was killed in his Supermarine Spitfire in an accident over Lincolnshire, England. Incredibly, he was nineteen years old.


Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

This is the first time I have read the whole poem and it is beautiful, Bazza. How sad he only lived to be 19.

bazza said...

Hi Arleen. Yes it's very beautiful; almost magical and hard to believe his tender age.

klahanie said...

Hey bazza,

Ah, me old mucker, welcome back!

Through the vivid thoughts within his words, I up there flying along for the ride.

An uplifting post in so many was, bazza.

Have a good Sunday and once again, nice to see you back around.


bazza said...

Hi Gary. I will be posting a few old favourites while I prepare some new stuff. Thanks for visiting.

John said...

Hi Bazza!
Welcome back. Time constraints are a nightmare, but lives have to be lived I suppose!
As usual, interesting and informative, even more so as this is my first read of the post!

bazza said...

Hello John. The old gang are getting back together!
Nice to hear from you. To answer the question that you asked on your new post; yes, you were missed!

John said...

Thanks Bazza!
Sounds a bit perverse, but it's nice to be missed!

David said...

Hi bazza,
Sorry I'm a little late in commenting, but as others have said, welcome back! And, an interesting and informative post, as usual (even if it is a repeat!)
Thanks, bazza, and very best wishes, your way,

bazza said...

Hello David. It's good to hear from you. Have a great weekend.
Best regards, Bazza.