The Splendid Hour

Songs and poetry relating to the RFC and RAF or aviation in general

The Splendid Hour

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 13 Nov 2014, 11:06

Amongst my other recent work travels [& visits to 2 second hand bookshops in the last 2 days, lol] in northern NSW, today I found a wonderful collection of poems [written by Kevin E. Collopy, a former RAAF airman in WW2], published by the Australian War Memorial in 1951... it is an anthology of his poetry, previously published in newspapers & other journals, but all written "in strange places and at strange times...in combat areas".

While I have only just glanced through it so far, this one entitled 'Fighter Pilots' I quite like:

"Among the timeless solitudes of space,
Like gaunt explorers of a brave new world,
Careless we live, and carelessly we die.
Earth's warriors, who see God face to face,
When tracing peaceful patterns on the sky;
Sometimes in combat, plunged and tossed and hurled
Our hearts may feel the fingers of His grace,
Licence to live, once more to fight and fly.
And earth has not one gift like this to give-
The ecstasy, the burning of the blood,
When reeling strips, then earth, to leeward slips
And soaring towards the sun, one hour we live
Above the world, the jungle and the mud
With careless laughter tumbling from our lips."
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: The Splendid Hour

Postby kylie_koyote » 13 Nov 2014, 12:16

Oh, that is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

I particularly like this line:

Like gaunt explorers of a brave new world

It really is astounding to think of all the advances that were made because of aviation - even those not directly related to aviation. The jet stream, which was use daily in forecasting our weather, was discovered by Wiley Post, a one-eyed :!: aviator in the 1930s.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
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Re: The Splendid Hour

Postby RAAF Spitfire Girl » 03 Dec 2014, 10:19

Wonderful poem, OzB. It captures so much in so few lines.
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Re: The Splendid Hour

Postby OzBiggles1963 » 03 Dec 2014, 10:51

RAAF Spitfire Girl wrote:Wonderful poem, OzB. It captures so much in so few lines.


Yes, I must read some more of his poetry when I am on holidays from 13-12-14 onwards. :D :woohodance:
They've been working together for so long that each seems to know by a sort of telepathy when another is in trouble. One never seems to get them together. Get one & the others come after him. To give the devil his due they make a formidable team.
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Re: The Splendid Hour

Postby 266 » 04 Dec 2014, 01:01

Lovely stuff - from the heart.
Zorotov: "We shall meet again."
Biggles: "If we do, the pleasure will be all yours."
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