Biographical Poetry posted December 21, 2020

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Slip The Surly Bonds

by Cynthia Adams1

I’ve been hobbled by heights since childhood.
Apparently one in fifteen are … sure seems like more
At sixteen my uncle had to carry me off a one-story roof
Talk about embarrassing… I was wearing hot pants 
Oh, Lordy!

A Psych major confided fear is healthy...means you want to live
That’s pretty unconvincing crap but it made me feel better.
I dream of soaring like a condor or crane; fearless and proud
By the end of the dream I’m an ostrich, bobbing for worms.
Oh, Birdy!

They say you wake up before hitting the ground in a dream
I somehow missed my cue one night and remembered … it hurt!
Went skydiving once to wrestle my fear of heights to the ground 
I jumped because I wanted to set a good example for the others
Oh, Nerdy!

Phobias writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a 10-15 line free verse poem about a phobia you may have. We all have something that very much frightens us. No rhyming patterns.

Three sites online said one in fifteen people or 7% of the population are very afraid of heights.
Seems too low. They say the only phobia that scares more people is social phobia, which I, mercifully don't have.

All the height stories in my poem are totally true.
When I went skydiving, I couldn't really see the ground coming up becuase my depth perception isn't that good.
By some miracle, I pulled the breaks at exactly the right time and just stepped onto the ground. This was a square chute; couldn't have been done with a round one.
They offered another ride for free...why would I push my luck :)

My familiar title is taken from the first line of "High Flight"
By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
(A sonnet written by John Gillespie Magee, an American pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. He came to Britain, flew in a Spitfire squadron, and was killed at the age of nineteen on 11 December 1941 during a training flight from the airfield near Scopwick.)

Portions Of This Lovely Poem Appear On The Headstones
Of Many Interred In Arlington National Cemetery,
Patricularly Aviators And Astronauts

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,"
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Artwork by eileen0204 at

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