Tag Archives: flight

High Flight

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 God.

Pt Off. John Gillespie Magee, Jr, RCAF, 1941

 

John Magee was a Canadian Spitfire pilot in England in World War 2. He died in 1941. This poem is just wonderful and has been quoted again and again —I remember Ronald Reagan quoting it after the Challenger crash.

I wish I could write like this.

Flight

Oh to slip into the sky, to soar and dance and tumble
Murmurate, swoop and stoop
Twisting twining the wind to my joy
Spiralling  updrafts to rise
Then
Tumbling wheeling through sundrenched clouds
Cavorting with the very air
The delirious burning blue

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Written after watching Red Kites tumble and play through the sky above my garden.

With thanks to Pt Off. John Gillespie Magee for the last line (from his poem High Flight)