John Gillespie Magee An Anglo-American aviator and poet. Magee served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he joined before the United States entered the war; he died in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire in 1941.
Poetry - John Magee - High Flight - Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth. High Flight John Gillespie Magee, Jr. Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;. High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung.
In other words, what Magee would later refer to as a “ditty” was undeniably a highly polished piece of writing that arrived fully developed, a phenomenal achievement for one so young. If not divine inspiration, then John Gillespie Magee, Jr. clearly had the makings of a world class poet.
By writing “High Flight,” John Gillespie Magee, Jr., achieved a place in American consciousness arguably greater than any he could have achieved through heroism in battle. His poem will continue to rank among the most popular aviation poems ever written as long as there are people for whom the miracle of flight inspires wonder and awe.
The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. Founded on years of detailed research, Roger Cole's book High Flight tells John Magee's extraordinary story, describing hitherto-unknown details of his short life, and providing insight into the inspiration for the poems that have found a unique place in history.
After a high altitude test flight one day, John wrote his parents a letter and enclosed a poem--this one--that test flight inspired. He was killed a few months later, when his plane collided with that of another British military pilot.
John Gillespie Magee was a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII. He started writing this poem while flying a Spitfire plane and finished it shortly.
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I have completed writing the book about John Magee and his most famous poem. I am now in the process of creating a feature film about the life of John Gillespie Magee and the creation of the poem HIGH FLIGHT. I have been doing research since 1990 and it continues to the present day. I am actively searching for people who knew Magee.
Tragically, John would lose his life, aged 19 years, in an accident, so never know how his words would serve posterity. Roger Cole’s High Flight traces the path of John Magee’s achievement, revealing an incredible story of human endeavor, vision, determination and self-sacrifice.