No Man is an Island

ImageThis is one of my favorite pieces of prose, written by John Donne as Meditation XVII for King Charles I in 1624 while Donne was convalescing from an illness and, obviously, in contemplation of his own mortality. The image is a lonely rock that stood just off the coast of northern Spain.It makes one think.

No Man Is An Island

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.

John Donne, Meditation XVII,1624