The news tonight said our first “Rocket Man” has passed. At the age of ninety five, John Glenn has “slipped the surly bonds of earth,” words from the poem High Flight, that both my father and I loved.
I first watched space travel in a school classroom in the early 60s. I daydreamed along with everyone else as we were mesmerized by the sights on television.
Here below is the entire beautiful poem:
John Gillespie Magee, Jr
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.
Another sliver of childhood slips away…
ad Astra John Glenn and RIP!
Nancilynn Saylor December 8, 2016