Jim Janke's

                                                  First solo, 11/22/75

Poetry and Prose

High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. The mantra of pilots everywhere. Magee was a Spitfire pilot in the WWII RAF. He was killed on December 11, 1941. You have to be a pilot to fully appreciate the poem.

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 ever 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.

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