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.

famous Women

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.

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