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"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.


John Gillespie Magee, Jr.


High Flight was composed by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was born in Shanghai, China in 1922, the son of missionary parents, Reverend and Mrs. John Gillespie Magee; his father was an American and his mother was originally a British citizen.


He came to the U.S. in 1939 and earned a scholarship to Yale, but in September 1940 he enlisted in the RCAF and was graduated as a pilot. He was sent to England for combat duty in July 1941.


In August or September 1941, Pilot Officer Magee composed High Flight and sent a copy to his parents. Several months later, on December 11, 1941 his Spitfire collided with another plane over England and Magee, only 19 years of age, crashed to his death.


His remains are buried in the churchyard cemetery at Scopwick, Lincolnshire.



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Can the magic of flight ever be carried by words? I think not.— Michael Parfit, 'Smithsonian' magazine, May 2000

Because it means so many different things each one of us, but I am sure that once we all depart the bonds of mother earth we share a common sense of freedom.


A very graceful poem though!



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The natural function of the wing is to soar upwards and carry that which is heavy up to the place where dwells the race of gods. More than any other thing that pertains to the body it partakes of the nature of the divine.


* * * * * — Plato, 'Phaedrus



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"I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty. That the reason flyers fly, whether they know it or not, is the aesthetic appeal of flying."


- Amelia Earhart.


"Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."


- Leonardo da Vinci


"We who fly do so for the love of flying. We are alive in the air with this miracle that lies in our hands and beneath our feet."


- Cecil Day Lewis



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Does your woman


sleep in peace


at night


and never stir


in startled fright


from nightmare dreams


of your demise


the pain of terror


in her eyes.





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yeah it's from" Skies Call" he not only took some brilliant photos but is pretty good with the pen as well. looking forward to finally meeting him next year.



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