Monday, September 10, 2012

No man is an Island

For whom the bell tolls a poem
(No man is an island) by J
ohn Donne



No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


These famous words by John Donne were not originally written as a poem 
- the passage is taken from the 1624 Meditation 17, from 
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and is prose. 
The words of the original passage are as follows:

John Donne
Meditation 17

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
"No man is an iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent,
a part of the maine; if a clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse,
as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of
thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankinde;
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee...." 

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