Pilot John Gillespie Magee, Jr. wrote this sonnet three months before he was killed at age 19, when his Spitfire collided with another plane on 11 December 1941.
Today when I was flying home from Panama City Florida to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (via Baltimore), I remembered we had to memorize and recite this poem in Mrs. Stewart’s Sixth Grade at Morris Plains Borough School 1963.
True, I wasn’t the pilot but man’s ability to fly is astounding to me.
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. Hovering 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 windswept 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.
First image shot with iPhone The rest shot with a Canon 50D
It was a great day to fly.
Above the fruited plain……..
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside–
Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown–
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!
Robert Louis Stevenson
Maura at 5 1/2 finally learns to pump
The Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life part two Found these in my old laptop. Different city streets-
From the archives
A sunrise – a perfect beginning.
A baby, just born.
The first page of the dictionary.
The first page of the new calendar.
Once you start, more come to mind.
Beginning= possibility? A new start.
I did not search the archives for beginnings but put the iPhone to use at breakfast-
My Saturday morning.
Here’s the beginning -
The special English muffins a surprise in the Christmas mail from Ben and Susan, thanks
A newly sharpened pencil ready to begin……
a journal entry, a letter, a poem, a novel, a list-
Begin with a single match…………..
Saturday morning I went to a wonderful poetry reading at Calvary Episcopal Church on Shady Avenue (in Pittsburgh). It was a grand crowd of friends, fellow poets and family. Jan Beatty gave a marvelous introduction and then Liane read poems from her book. They had to get extra chairs! Afterwards there was lots of hot coffee and croissants, raspberries and blueberries and other delicious pastries. Her grandson helped sell the books and make change.
Liane Ellison Norman’s new poetry book is Breathing the West: Great Basin Poems.
On Monday December 3rd, one of her poems will be read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. How cool is that?
Here’s the link so you can listen to the reading of Tree by Liane Ellison Norman.
Two roads diverged on a city hill.
I really wasn’t sorry I could not take either of them.
No outlet, squared.
And when the light turned green,
I headed on over the bridge at the bottom of the hill instead of choosing.
Apologies to Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
Convex traffic mirror. At the zoo. Not a monkey. Self- portrait.
Maybe I got the title after viewing the scary preview of the movie Snow White and the Huntsman which is coming out June first. No dwarfs to be seen. Definitely not for children.
Wikipedia says “Round convex mirrors called Oeil de Sorcière (French for “sorcerer’s eye”) were a popular luxury item from the 15th century onwards, shown in many depictions of interiors from that time. With 15th century technology, it was easier to make a regular curved mirror (from blown glass) than a perfectly flat one.”
And of course they mention the Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck which everyone is familiar with but may not know the painting’s title. See the convex mirror in the details if you click on the Arnolfini Portrait link and scroll to the section Mirror.
Okay, just trying to make a photograph of me a bit interesting to others. Convex mirrors seem interesting to me.
Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.