Friday, February 20, 2009

Footless Halls of Air

Wow. This was the first CNN news story on my iGoogle. Top news, my friends.

Socks, former Clinton cat, put to sleep.

On to my purpose for this blog today. I remembered a beautiful poem I discovered my senior year and thought I'd share it with you all since I don't want to study for chemistry.

During the early days of World War II, while the US was still neutral, many Americans crossed into Canada to enlist. John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was among them, giving up a Yale scholarship for a place in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He was soon flying in England where, at 19, he was struck with the inspiration for a poem: "To Touch the Face of God." He wrote a quick verse while in the air and concluded the poem on the ground shortly after landing. He wrote out the poem on the back of a letter to his parents. Magee died a few months later from a mid-air collision. On his headstone reads the first and last lines of his poem:
"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth- Put out my hand and touched the face of God."

High Flight
John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

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.


brianamw said...

I think it's really funny that we will use anything as an excuse not to do homework. On Thursday I did the same thing! I posted a new blog in order to avoid continuing to write my paper that I was supposed to do. I think it's really funny. Such is life though. :)

Dave said...

I was really close to about sad :(