En vedette

jeudi 29 juillet 2010

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. 1922 - 1944 & Antoine de Saint-Exupery 1900 - 1944 [English]

Le présent billet a été rédigé par Jonathan Goldberg, que je remercie. Une traduction en français suivra.

John Magee, an American, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery, a Frenchman, were both pilots. Both were killed in plane crashes in 1944 and both left lasting literary legacies - Magee, with his poem, High Flight, and Saint-Exupery with Le Petit Prince.

Magee was flying a Spitfire for the Canadian Royal Air Force, when he was killed in the skies over England at the age of nineteen, 3 months after writing High Flight.

Saint-Exupery wrote books about aviation adventures, but he is best remembered for Le Petit Prince, translated into over 190 languages. He joined the Armée de l’Air, the French Air Force, and later joined the Free French Forces. His plane disappeared over the Mediterranean in July 1944 – one year after he wrote The Little Prince.

Saint-Exupery is an iconic author in the annals of children’s literature, whereas Magee wrote no other literary works. Nevertheless, High Flight is enormously popular in flying circles. In 1971, Apollo 15 Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin carried a copy of High Flight to the moon. President Ronald Reagan read lines from the poem after seven astronauts aboard the space shuttle Challenger were killed in 1986. When Alan Shepard, America’s first man in space died in 1998, High Flight was cited in many tributes paid to him.

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 nor 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.


Je me suis libéré des emprises de la terre,
pour danser dans le ciel,
sur des ailes argentées d’un grand ris.
Je suis allé vers le soleil,
j’ai rejoint les cascades chaotiques de nuages tranchés de lumière.
Et là,
j’ai vécu des moments dont vous n’avez jamais rêvé !
Voler, Planer, Balancer si haut dans le Silence solaire…
Suspendu, j’ai pourchassé le vent hurlant,
et lancé mon vaisseau au travers de fabuleuses cavernes,
pleines d’un air raffiné.
Haut, plus haut, au long d’un délire de Bleu brûlant,
j’ai survolé les sommets balayés de vent,
dans une sérénité que nul aigle, nulles alouettes,
n’ont jamais vécu.
alors que mon esprit silencieux s’élevait,
au travers du sanctuaire inviolé de l’Espace …
j’ai sorti une main… et caressé le visage de Dieu.

In this video clip, High Flight is sung by John Denver, who himself was killed when the plane he was piloting crashed.



“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night
to visit violence on those who would do us harm” ~ George Orwell

For other writings about war, see http://iwvpa.net/

John Magee: The Pilot Poet

Le Petit Prince

available from Amazon.fr and Amazon.com



I ask the indulgence of the children who may read this book for dedicating it to a grown-up. I have a serious reason: he is the best friend I have in the world. I have another reason: this grown-up understands everything, even books about children. I have a third reason: he lives in France where he is hungry and cold. He needs cheering up. If all these reasons are not enough, I will dedicate the book to the child from whom this grown-up grew. All grown-ups were once children-- although few of them remember it. And so I correct my dedication:







Je demande pardon aux enfants d’avoir dédié ce livre à une grande personne. J’ai une excuse sérieuse: cette grande personne est le meilleur ami que j’ai au monde. J’ai une autre excuse: cette grande personne peut tout comprendre, même les livres pour enfants. J’ai une troisième excuse: cette grande personne habite la France où elle a faim et froid. Elle a bien besoin d’être consolée. Si toutes ces excuses ne suffisent pas, je veux bien dédier ce livre à l’enfant qu’a été autrefois cette grande personne. Toutes les grandes personnes ont d’abord été des enfants. (Mais peu d’entre elles s’en souviennent.) Je corrige donc ma dédicace:



SUITE : http://www3.sympatico.ca/gaston.ringuelet/lepetitprince/chapitre01.html

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