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Search for poem title and author
Posted by: Michelle (---.dialup.mindspring.com)
Date: November 06, 2000 07:05PM

I read a poem nearly ten years ago for a junior high English class, and bits and pieces of it have remained with me since. Unfortunately, the title and author escape me. The opening lines go something like this:
"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings"

It closes with mention of touching the face of God. If memory serves, it was written by a young man, 18 or 19 years old, who was a pilot. The peom was about his perception of flying. I believe that this is the only poem published by this young man, who was ultimately killed at war. Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Michelle


RE: Search for poem title and author
Posted by: Leiv (193.216.206.---)
Date: November 07, 2000 06:05AM

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, I've chased the shouting wind along,
And flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delerious 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 untrespasses sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie McGee, Jr.


RE: Search for poem title and author
Posted by: Jessie Murphy (---.cust.stargate.net)
Date: November 07, 2000 04:20PM

There are a couple of words missing. It says:
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.
Sunward I've climbed, and jointed 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.

Isn't it beautiful? They say, if you fly in a glider, it's so silent that you can hear
human conversations on the ground. I flew with my brother one time, over Palm
Beach County. It wasn't a glider, it was a powered craft. When we came to land,
he told me, "I have to cut the engine for a few seconds due to vicious cross winds,
but don't be afraid. It will start again just before touchdown." And that's the way
it went. I became afraid to fly after I became a mother, and the only time I flew
since becoming afraid was to go to my mother's funeral. But still the poem thrills
me every time I think of it.




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