A Short Analysis of John Gillespie Magee’s ‘High Flight (An Airman’s Ecstasy)’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth’: so begins one of the most celebrated poems about flight ever written. Unlike earlier, Romantic poems written about birds in flight, ‘High Flight (An Airman’s Ecstasy)’ sees man taking to the skies, thanks to the early twentieth-century invention of the aeroplane. Here’s the poem ‘High Flight’, followed by some words of analysis.

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