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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"High 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 windswept heights with easy grace
                            Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
                            And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
                            The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
                            Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

 Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr.


  1. "Per Ardua" (Written shortly before his own death in a Sptfire crash in 1941)

    (To those who gave their lives to England during the Battle of Britain and left such a shining example to us who follow, these lines are dedicated.)

    "They that have climbed the white mists of the morning;
    They that have soared, before the world's awake,
    To herald up their foeman to them, scorning
    The thin dawn's rest their weary folk might take;
    Some that have left other mouths to tell the story
    Of high, blue battle, quite young limbs that bled,
    How they had thundered up the clouds to glory,
    Or fallen to an English field stained red.

    Because my faltering feet would fail I find them
    Laughing beside me, steadying the hand
    That seeks their deadly courage –
    Yet behind them
    The cold light dies in that once brilliant Land ....

    Do these, who help the quickened pulse run slowly,
    Whose stern, remembered image cools the brow,
    Till the far dawn of Victory, know only
    Night's darkness, and Valhalla's silence now?"

  2. Excellent poem. I've heard it read at several funerals for pilots I've known and I think it so perfectly describes why I fly. Thank you for sharing!

  3. What a beautiful, inspiring poem! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. And D.B., yours too!

  4. Thank you all for your beautiful comments. And D.B. for sharing your poem! Thank you. Thank you!


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