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Poetry of Direct Personal Experience
Our Collection of Aviation and Military Poetry

High Flight
John Gillespie Magee

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 Portrait

John Magee in Spitfire

Founded on years of detailed research, Roger Cole's book High Flight tells John Magee's extraordinary story, describing hitherto-unknown details of his short life, and providing insight into the inspiration for the poems that have found a unique place in history. High Flight traces the path of John Magee's achievement, revealing an incredible story of human endeavour, vision, determination and self-sacrifice.

High Flight: The Life and Poetry of John Gillespie Magee


Canadian site honouring Magee, and featuring vintage Harvard aerobatics.


                              


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 • Last Modified: 04 July 2015, 13:30