Quotations about   flight

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Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings ….

John Gillespie Magee Jr. (1922-1941) Anglo-American pilot and poet
“High Flight” (1941)
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Added on 15-Sep-20 | Last updated 15-Sep-20
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Wings are freedom only when they are wide open in flight. On one’s back they are a heavy weight.

[Крылья — свобода, только когда раскрыты в полёте, за спиной они — тяжесть.]

Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) Russian poet
Notebook 1 (1921)
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Literally "Wings -- freedom, only when opened in flight, behind their backs -- heavy."
Added on 24-Feb-20 | Last updated 24-Feb-20
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Some Saian mountaineer
Struts today with my shield.
I threw it down by a bush and ran
When the fighting got hot.
Life seemed somehow more precious.
It was a beautiful shield.
I know where I can buy another
Exactly like it, just as round.

Archilochus (c. 680-645 BC) Greek lyric poet and mercenary [Ἀρχίλοχος, Archilochos, Arkhilokhus]
Fragment 79 [tr. Davenport (1964)]
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Fragment from Plutarch, "Laws and Customs of the Lacedaemonians". Alt. trans.:
  • "Let who will boast their courage in the field, / I find but little safety from my shield. / Nature's, not honour's, law we must obey: / This made me cast my useless shield away, / And, by a prudent flight and cunning, save / A life, which valour could not, from the grave. / A better buckler I can soon regain; / But who can get another life again?" [tr. Pulleyn (18th C)]
  • "A Saian boasts about the shield which beside a bush / though good armour I unwillingly left behind. / I saved myself, so what do I care about the shield? / To hell with it! I'll get one soon just as good." ["To my shield" (D6, 5W)]
  • "I don't give a damn if some Thracian ape struts / Proud of that first-rate shield the bushes got. / Leaving it was hell, but in a tricky spot / I kept my hide intact. Good shields can be bought." [tr. Silverman]
  • "Some barbarian is waving my shield, since I was obliged to leave that perfectly good piece of equipment behind under a bush. But I got away, so what does it matter? Life seemed somehow more precious. Let the shield go; I can buy another one equally good." [tr. Lattimore (1955)]
Identified elsewhere as Fragment 6.
Added on 21-Jan-20 | Last updated 21-Jan-20
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It isn’t often that Aunt Dahlia lets her angry passions rise, but when she does, strong men climb trees and pull them up after them.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
Right Ho, Jeeves (1934)
Added on 27-Jul-09 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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