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.
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,…