pointedview (pointedview) wrote,

Farewell, Superman: Christopher Reeve, 1952 - 2004

High Flight

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.

--- John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

This poem is often read at the funerals of pilots; I know this because I first heard it when a family friend and former Top Gun died.

Given the role he was best known for, Superman, it seemed appropriate to post at Reeve's passing. However, for so many people, his real heroism began after the equestrian accident in 1995 that left him paralyzed.

He took some pretty big lemons, and made lemonade. Out of his suffering, he became a passionate advocate for research, including founding the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.

From screen hero to real life hero. May his spirit fly free and unfettered.

Tags: celebrities, deaths, poetry
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