APOLLO 15Apollo 15 Flown "High Flight" Poem Originally from the Personal Collection of Jim Irwin, Signed and Certified, also with Irwin Autograph Letter Signed. A three-stanza poem titled "High Flight" printed on tan 8.5" x 11" paper. It is signed at top left: "This copy of High Flight/ was Flown to the moon/ on Apollo 15/ Jim Irwin". This was flown to the moon with Irwin, Dave Scott, and Al Worden on Apollo 15, July 26-August 7, 1971. Included is an undated handwritten letter from the daughter of the couple that purchased this flown copy directly from Irwin at a meeting held by him in Colorado, possibly to raise money for an expedition to Mount Ararat in Turkey where he searched for Noah's Ark. The poem shows uneven toning where it was obviously matted, framed, and displayed. The writing is just slightly faded and there are mounting traces on the verso with some show-through to the front. Overall very good.
Included in this lot is a one page handwritten and signed letter, May 8, 1979, Colorado Springs, on High Flight Foundation letterhead, with content regarding the poem. It reads, in part: "The High Flight Poem was written by John Gillespie Magee Jr in 1941. I do not know the name of Pilot shown in Sign-off TV spot... High Flight Poem captured a great many of the lofty Feelings of Space Travel. Best Wishes, Jim Irwin Apollo 15 [drawn crescent moon]" Very fine.
This poem (transcribed below) was written in 1941 by John Gillespie Magee Jr., a nineteen year old American aviator serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Later that year, he was killed in a midair collision over Lincolnshire, England. His poem took on a life of its own being published, read publicly, and set to music numerous times in the years since. Irwin took the title for his own High Flight Foundation "formed in July 1972 to enable Col. Irwin and his family to encourage others to take a leap of faith and experience the Highest Flight possible with God." (www.highflightfoundation.org).
"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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