July 31, 2011

The long, delirious, burning blue…#PoetrySummer, Week 9

This week I memorized and recited one of David’s favorite poems for #PoetrySummer. I realized yet again on Friday that I hadn’t even started for the week, and being the kind husband that he is (in most regards), David chose a sonnet for me. It is High Flight, by John Gillespie Magee, Jr., a RCAF pilot who died during World War II, shortly after writing the poem. This is the poem President Reagan quoted in his speech after the Challenger disaster.

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 have trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

I can’t say I’d mind streaking up the long, delirious, burning blue. Actually, I think I kind of want to now.

By the way—I recited all the poems I’ve done so far for David just now. I think I only said two (the first one and the last one) perfectly without any hinting from David, but l did pretty well (a solid B+) with the others. I’ll try again in a few weeks to see if I have mastered them all! Hee hee hee.