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Sunward I’ve Climbed

The post we ran earlier today about Jetman reminded me of this…I hadn't thought of it in years. When I was a kid this was what they'd play at midnight on Tulsa's OETA Channel 11. Sometimes I'd stay up late just to watch it; sometimes I'd have to get back out of the rack once my parents were asleep to do so.

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I love this poem, and despite the quality I love the video. The poem was written by John Gillespie Magee, an American pilot flying in the Royal Canadian Air Force at the beginning of WWII. He was killed while flying a Spitfire in a midair collision over England in 1941.

“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 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.”

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