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John Gillespie Magee, Jr.'s Pen
Pen2

Origin

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Type

Black-ink pen

Effects

Holder feels the excitement and joy as if flying at 30,000 feet. Amplifies inspiration and love in user, causing holder to use the pen as a creative outlet.

Downsides

User dies as if in a plane collision with another plane.

Activation

Holding

Collected by

Garrett Scott

Section

Clio-362A

Aisle

894-6353

Shelf

56542-4565-463

Date of Collection

2-27-13

[Source]


OriginEdit

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.Edit

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941) was an American aviator and poet who died as a result of a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire during World War II. He was serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he joined before the United States officially entered the war. He is most famous for his poem "High Flight."

The Poem's HistoryEdit

Magee's posthumous fame rests mainly on his sonnet "High Flight", started on 18 August 1941, just a few months before his death, while he was based at No. 53 OTU. He had flown up to 33,000 feet in a Spitfire Mk I, his seventh flight in a Spitfire. As he orbited and climbed upward, he was struck with the inspiration of a poem — "To touch the face of God." He completed it later that day after landing.

Purportedly, the first person to read this poem later that same day was fellow Pilot Officer Michael Le Bas (later Air Vice-Marshal M H Le Bas, Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group RAF), with whom Magee had trained, in the officers' mess.

Magee enclosed the poem on the back of a letter to his parents. His father, then curate of Saint John's Episcopal Church in Washington, DC, reprinted it in church publications. The poem became more widely known through the efforts of Archibald McLeish, then Librarian of Congress, who included it in an exhibition of poems called "Faith and Freedom" at the Library of Congress in February 1942. The manuscript copy of the poem remains at the Library of Congress.

"High Flight"Edit

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.

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