The first man in space


In that one orbit of the Earth,

He must have understood far more

That any human mind alive.

Think about it. Not just the view,

But actually being there:

Above the trifles, the low plod

Of puffed-up order, the slow deaths

In crowds pressed against shop windows.

Above the bile, the pious chat,

The mush of mediocrity.

Above the relevance of air.


Seeing all that really matters.


Like Armstrong later, the sense of

The ordinary, yet unique.

(In the end, he was just a man.)

Of lone conquering, with special

Insight that no one else can claim.

Privilege? Yes, but with a risk

That few, if none, of us would take.


He earned his moment – looking back

At us down here, and wondering.

◄ Mainstream

Upstairs, Downstairs ►


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Stephen Gospage

Tue 13th Apr 2021 22:02

Thank you for your kind comments, Greg, and many thanks to everyone for the likes.

I have always been fascinated by people who were the first to do something, not because of the competitive element but simply because of the 'special insight' which comes from their unique experience.

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Greg Freeman

Mon 12th Apr 2021 18:50

Wonderful opening lines, Stephen. And the title, of course.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 12th Apr 2021 17:59

This follows on from Phil Ireland's memories of Yuri Gagarin's space flight of April 1961. I was seven at the time and don't really remember the event, although I have become interested in it since.

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