The University of Kansas Libraries
by John G. Magee
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 nor 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.
Learn more about the history of this poem and its author, an RAF pilot in World War II, from the Air Force Historical Studies Office.
KU Libraries collections contain more than 28,000 books of or about poetry. Throughout April, a special selection of poetry books will be available for checkout in Watson Library near the 3rd floor service desk. Come check it out!