High Flight

The poem 'High Flight' was written by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jnr. 'High Flight' evokes the joy Magee felt when flying a Spitfire. Magee, an American, crossed the Canadian border in 1941 and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force - America was still neutral at this time. In September 1941 he wrote 'High Flight' after testing a Mark V Spitfire at high altitude.

“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.”

Magee was killed in a flying accident on December 11th 1941.

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    The poem 'High Flight' was written by Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee Jnr. 'High Flight' evokes the joy Magee felt when flying a Spitfire. Magee,…

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