Friday, May 15, 2009

Slip the Surly Bonds

This post was inspired by the famous aviation poem High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Eighteen year old Magee was an American who crossed the border into Canada to volunteer for the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1941, he was assigned to the 412th Fighter Squadron at Digby, England.

He was inspired during a test flight in the new (then) Spitfire V to the high (then) altitude of 30,000 feet. He included the poem in a letter to his parents shortly thereafter. At the age of 19, Magee was killed in a mid-air collision with an RAF trainer.


I often think of this verse as we fly through and around the clouds. It truly feels like you could "touch the face of God." -- Margy


  1. Very very cool!!!

  2. WOW.... a perspective that we do not see when we look up at the clouds with our feet planted firmly on the ground !

    Very nice photos and some interesting information as a bonus...

  3. Great photos Margy. I had to memorize that poem when I was about ten and I have never forgotten it, it so captured my spirit. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for taking us up with you, complete with the sound of the engine!
    Even when I fly 29 hours to Australia I never need a book. Always too immersed in the clouds and stars and communing with God.
    Thanks for the poem. Too bad the young man had to die in the air.
    I sent it on to my pilot daughter.

    Shalom Margy, have fun with your garden.

  5. love your skywatch captures...and the poem too.
    have a most wonderful week.

  6. Hello! Thanks for coming by and visiting my Astoria Daily Photo blog and leaving your comment. About the airport and restaurant, I didn't know it had closed, but it's not surprising. I think that airport was in fairly constant flux anyway before the economic woes of this year. I wish I'd known about the restaurant. I might have visited it. Yes, let's hope someone will re-open it! Your perspective of Skywatch Friday is quite the opposite from most of us! Nice site and fun to visit.


  7. WOW - aren't you lucky! Thanks for your visit and for the invite. I'm so glad I came. Happy weekend.

  8. You may not be touching "the face of God" but you must be tickling God's feet. :)
    We have the poem framed on our wall-o-flying pictures - it's my husbands from way, way back.
    Getting a flight from my son was really a Mom's Day treat. He is very conscientious and has an excelent instructor - Mickey Holton. I think it is so wonderful you learned to fly at 40. That's a lot tougher than at 14!
    While I've been working in aerospace for 29 years, and once we had a bit of extra $$, I've never trusted myself to learn to fly. But I sure enjoy flying.
    Thanks for the visual treat and for the interesting info on the poet.

  9. Hi Margy,
    When you invited me to come "fly" with you I had no idea what I would find. Wow! A pleasant surprise. You have a great blog. I'll be back.

    Thanks for visiting Monastery Daily Photo.