High Flight

1/7 November 2009

Sean Street presents "High Flight" on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 1 November at 4.30pm. The programme, which features contributions from poet Andrew Motion and composer Bob Chilcott, explores the eponymous poem by the young pilot, John Magee, who died in 1941 in a flying accident over Lincolnshire, aged just 19. The first and last lines, "Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth/ Put out my hand and touched the face of God" were quoted by Ronald Reagan after the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, and the words are known to thousands of pilots, encapsulating as they do for many, the ecstasy of flight. The programme is repeated on Saturday 7 November at 11.30pm.