Day 22: High Flight

Today’s poem, “High Flight” was written by John Gillespie Magee Jr., a pilot and poet who lived from 1922-1941. This poem has been a favorite of pilots and astronauts for some time, and as such, this reading is dedicated to my Dad’s life flying airplanes:

The Old Soldier

I met an aged soldier

Whose eyes were growing dim

He spoke to me of life and death

And fate’s unkindly whims

His wall was hung with medals

Which led me to inquire,

“Pray, tell to me the secret, Sir

Of courage under fire?”

“How do you fight the battle

When death is drawing near?

How do you charge unto the breach

Without a trace of fear?”

“No fear?” he laughed.

“Who told you that?

Why I was scared as hell,

But I knew I had a job to do

And I’d sworn to do it well

There’s lots of folks might tell you

There’s shame in feeling fear

That it’s a sign of weakness

If you shed a worried tear

But listen close my boy, said he

Hear what I have to say:

True courage comes when you’re afraid

And do it anyway

For there’s no special bravery

Fighting fights you know you’ll win

Braver by far, the man who fears

But refuses to give in

Yes, soldiers often tremble

The strong oft hurt and cry

The hero’s part is not to win

But to face it all and try

To face the slings and arrows

That threaten us each day

To face them all and then proclaim,

I’ll do it anyway.”

Day 18: The Cremation of Sam McGee

I must beg my readers indulgence. I know I have been posting original poetry with less frequency than before. I’m trying out some new (to me) poetic forms and the time it takes to create a piece I’m happy with has increased. I will be posting more original poems as they are completed. However, I will also continue to post daily videos reading some of my favorite poems.

Today’s piece is ‘The Cremation of Sam McGee’ by Robert W. Service:

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