You Live Most in the Air- Marie Marvingt (Poem)
When I was four
I could swim my age in kilometres
At fifteen I canoed
400 kilometres from France to Germany
I was the first woman to
Climb most of the French, Swiss alps
At thirty I was the first French woman
To swim the length of the Seine through Paris
The press called me the red amphibian
I rode a cycle from France to Italy
To see a volcano erupt
I couldn’t take part in Tour de France
It was open only to men
I completed the course anyway
Joining 36 of the 114 men to do so.
When I was thirty four
I piloted a balloon across
The North Sea and the English Channel
My balloon was called The Shooting Star.
I piloted a monoplane
Going 900 flights without crashing.
During World War I
I disguised myself as a man
Serving as a soldier
Till I was discovered and sent home.
I volunteered to fly bombing missions
Over German held territory
I got the Military Cross for that.
After the war I was in Morocco
Thought metal skis would help
Air ambulances land on desert sand
I taught people to ski on sand dunes there.
My Flight Nurses made parachute landings
In World War II where air ambulances couldn’t land
I travelled the world
On foot, on wheels
On land, in the air
Start early I say
There’s a lot of ground to cover.
Here’s another poem in my Famous Women series.
Read more about Marie Marvingt here.