Like many others, growing I would stay up on weekend night's to watch the closing of the local TV station. Hight flight would always come on and I could go to bed and dream...
The last words 'reached out and touched the face of god' has always meant so much to me, the end of a perfect prayer
John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941) was an American aviator (American father - British Mother) and poet who died as a result of a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire, UK during World War II. He was serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he joined before the US officially entered the war.
He started "High Flight" on 18 August 1941, just a few months before his death. In his seventh flight in a Spitfire Mk I he had flown up to 33,000 feet. As he orbited and climbed upward, he was struck by words he had read in another poem — "To touch the face of God." He completed his verse soon after landing.
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 and from there it was picked up by many other publications especially following the John's Death.
There is not a pilot alive who has not heard/read this poem. It answers, "Why do you fly?" when we haven't the words.