Fantasy Literature

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Fantasy Literature and Fantastic Language

ENG 290
Rachel De Luise
University of Phoenix

For the assignment I am to choose one poem and one work of fantasy from two different cultural traditions. Choosing the fantasy was easy, but choosing the poem was a little difficult for me. For the poem, I chose “High Flight” by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. The poem was listed in our textbook as a sonnet. A sonnet is a very old form of poetry, having gained prominence during the Renaissance period. It is also very sophisticated form and therefore not found much in poetry for children(Russell, Chapter 6,  2009).

A sonnet contains fourteen lines; each line with five iambic feet or ten syllables. The rhyme scheme follows one of two different patterns. The Italian sonnet or either the Shakespearean sonnet, also called the English sonnet. There are very few sonnets written for children, but the particular poem I have chosen has proven very popular with adolescents(Russell, Chapter 6,  2009)..

“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 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 untrepassed sanctity of space
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
-John Gillespie Magee Jr.

To me the poem is wrote as a meaning and learning experience. It includes some religious views and is aimed at a particular audience because not everyone believes is God. In the Renaissance period yes, but in today’s world this poem could offend some...