Tuesday, July 28, 2009

High Flight poem -- "Reached out & touched the face of God"

If you never read John Magee's famous poem "High Flight" you need to. Here it is for your convenience:

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 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.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

I had the chance to slip the surly bonds a lot this past week while on vacation and felt very fortunate & blessed. I also reached out the open window of my Cub and touched a cloud (or as close as I could get given the legal VFR cloud separation requirements of course :) It's a lot different than just flying through them on an airliner or closed cockpit airplane....it's very spirtual and something you have to experience to appreciate.

Brian "Brain" Kissinger


Patricia said...


What an inspirational poem. I admire you for all your dedication and hard work. Enjoy every moment you can.

Take care,
Patricia Salmon

Rowsie said...

My dad flew spitfires in WW2, went on to work of TSR2 and concorde before space and defense... this poem and the song 'on a wing and a prayer' are the only two things I know of that have made him cry... He is blind now, but still has this hanging above his bed

Callum said...

My grandad flew spitfires in WW2 also. He's just passed away at the age of 88 (having lied about his age to join the airforce!) and I've been asked to read this poem at his funeral.
It is truly an inspirational poem and I can only hope that I do it justice!

Rest in Peace Grandpa Alan

Rowsie said...

Dear Callum, I imagine that one day I shall have to do the same for my Dad. At least your fly boy is now truly touching the face of God,
Bless you and yours,

Walter F. Johnsey, Sr. said...

This poem is in my top five all time favorites. I have used it in many of my memorial messages as my last word to family (especially military families). Thank you for sharing. God Bless you all.

Denise said...

I remember this commercial. It was really beautiful and I appreciated every time I got to see it on TV

GazelleDZ said...

On the date of Neil Armstrong's death, August 25th, 2012, this poem is a perfect to the man who touched the moon and the world's hearts and minds. RIP Neil.

GazelleDZ said...

High Flight is the perfect tribute to Neil Armstrong who's death has just been announced on this date: August 25, 2012. He not only touched the moon, but humanity's hearts and minds

Gee Willa kurs said...

Back in the sixties when there was only two or three tv stations which went off the air at midnight or shortly there after. A tv station use to play this poem every night before it signed off. It certainly made a impact on me.

Courtney McDaniel said...

I remember when the first shuttle explosion happened, one of the radio memorials had this poem read and then played "Eye in the Sky" by Alan Parsons Project.. still gives me a chill.