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High Flight at 75

Old 18th Aug 2016, 07:44
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High Flight at 75

Wartime poem High Flight remembered 75 years on - BBC News

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Old 18th Aug 2016, 07:52
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Lovely poem, but there was, I believe, some suspicion of plagiarism in respect of it.
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Old 18th Aug 2016, 08:08
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Better sung by John Denver.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wrz715AXqw
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Old 18th Aug 2016, 09:04
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Originally Posted by JEM60 View Post
Lovely poem, but there was, I believe, some suspicion of plagiarism in respect of it.
AIUI, JGM wrote it in a letter to his parents just before he died. Given that, I'd argue that any question of plagiarism is totally irrelevant.

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Old 18th Aug 2016, 09:18
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
AIUI, JGM wrote it in a letter to his parents just before he died.
The original of which is now in the Library of Congress:

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Old 18th Aug 2016, 10:20
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Thank you Dave, I'd never seen that before.

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Old 20th Aug 2016, 10:58
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I always thought he was Canadian, if so why in in Library of Congress (US)?
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Old 20th Aug 2016, 11:49
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In fact he was an American serving along with many others in the RCAF, when America entered the war a special train had to be sent across the country to pick up the many instructors serving in training command who ,with Americas entry into the war, wished to return to America and serve in the Army Air Corps. Many stayed with the RCAF and had outstanding careers,. Even when I entered pilot training after WW2 there were some still serving, I received a major bolicking from one W/C Joe McCarthy, ex 617 Sqdn dam buster pilot {taxying too fast in case your wondering}

Last edited by clunckdriver; 21st Aug 2016 at 10:42. Reason: Bolicking details}
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Old 20th Aug 2016, 15:43
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OK, thanks for that
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 09:15
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GENGHIS. With respect, JGM used at least seven phrases from a poem by Gilbert Cuthbert Hicks that was published 3 years earlier in an article entitled 'Icarus- an anthology of the poetry of flight'.
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 10:06
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Sorry, but personally I find that 'High Flight' is becoming somewhat clichéd these days...
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Old 21st Aug 2016, 13:59
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The Blind Man Flies

I am blind: I have never seen
Sun gold nor silver moon,
Nor the fairy faces of flowers,
Nor the radiant noon.

They speak of the dawn and the dusk,
And the smile of a child,
Of the deep red heart of a rose,
As of God, undefiled.

But I learnt from the air to-day
(On a bird’s wings I flew)
That the earth could never contain
All of the God I knew.

I felt the blue mantle of space,
And kissed the cloud’s white hem,
I heard the stars’ majestic choir,
And sang my praise with them.

Now joy is mine through my long night,
I do not feel the rod,
For I have danced the streets of heaven,
And touched the face of God.

Cuthbert Hicks
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Old 24th Aug 2016, 23:35
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Originally Posted by JEM60 View Post
GENGHIS. With respect, JGM used at least seven phrases from a poem by Gilbert Cuthbert Hicks that was published 3 years earlier in an article entitled 'Icarus- an anthology of the poetry of flight'.
With no respect on the point, you miss my point.

A very young man, who liked mucking around with poetry, wrote something down on the back of a letter to his mother, then a little while later dies in a flying accident. He wasn't a professional poet, he claimed nothing himself - he just wrote something down he liked.

It was read at his funeral, and subsequently spread because it struck a note with a great many people at a time of massive stress. So it was as much as anything about the circumstance, and what it meant to people.

And so, I think that plagiarism - which at best is debatable looking at that piece of god-bothering doggerel by Hicks, is a completely irrelevant point. Plagiarism would only be an issue if there was ever any intention to deceive, and I think that there's no evidence of that whatsoever.


BEagle's point about it being overused is a much fairer point. In 1996, a friend and colleague of mine named Lt Mike Auckland, inadvertently flew a Harrier into a hill in Somerset. At his funeral, the poem was read out, and there were two RAF FJ pilots stood next to me - one of whom whispered to the other very loudly, "If they read that at my funeral, I'm coming back to haunt the lot of the buggers". It's not a new point, but only an aesthetic one.


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Old 25th Aug 2016, 22:03
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The link in post #3 didn't work for me but for those who had the same problem this one did

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSL0Mi8XR3k

There's another clip in this link with a longer preamble with Bob Hope

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjzcdvF3gDc
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Old 26th Aug 2016, 06:30
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BEagle's point about it being overused is a much fairer point
While such things may be old hat to an older audience, don't forget there is a group of youngsters following behind who may have never heard of it. If such is the case, I say, bite your tongue whilst it is read, and appreciate that somebody may be gaining something.

I say this because I had cause to post on a forum here, a bit of what some would regard as oft quoted doggerel (might even have been High Flight) at aviator funerals, when a young man I once worked with passed because of C. I did not know that he had married and had a young child, but his wife saw the post and spent some three months tracking me down and ringing to thank me for the thoughts expressed - with a great deal of emotion. Just one point of view mind.
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Old 29th Aug 2016, 14:42
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I can't disagree with you Megan. Whilst "not dying " would be my preferred option - I would be very happy to have it read at mine, along with Kipling's If, also much used, but for equally understandable reasons.

G

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Old 29th Aug 2016, 16:32
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I have no choice, Youngest W has told me he is going to read it at my (eventual) funeral - but I have told him I am hanging on to the money as long as possible!
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