Every Man Remains an Island
You pace with the gaudy crowd,
the pied throngs on urban land,
but you reckon all unbowed
that Every Man Remains an Island.
Albeit the work is often shared
and you adore her and would love
to be loved forever and cared
for, treasuring loyalty, your Truelove.
A bold bridge, you say, can cross
even the icy rivers of the winter,
yet the shimmery stars across
the sky offer infinite encounter.
And as a bleached new daybreak
prepares to cast its sallow nets,
nascent shadows at the lake
trickle down to petals of florets.
And then the alarm clock rings,
a reversed dream ignites a bonfire
of the lyre in your heart that brings
forth a new verse in jazzy sapphire.
Paul Hartal's Other Poems
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
The title of this verse, 'Every Man Remains an Island', seems to contradict Donne's famous 'No Man is an Island'. In his Meditation XVII, the English metaphysical poet and Anglican priest John Donne (1572-1631) wrote:
'All mankind is of one author…No man is an island, entire of itself…any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.'
Now, admittedly, death is a constant companion of life. So, my opus, 'Every Man Remains an Island', does not try to challenge Donne's profound awareness of human mortality. Nor does it try to refute his vision that all mankind is interconnected.
Instead, my poem approaches human existence with a dialectical point of view. Although the narrative voice in it does not necessarily express the poet's own vision, the central message of the verse, as stated in the title, reflects the fact that humans throughout their life experience an intrinsic sense of loneliness and isolation. For, regardless how close an individual can be to another, in the final analysis, man stands alone.
At the same time, however, I also believe in the redeeming power of love. Our salvation comes from love. Life and love are inherently intertwined. Life exists as a result of love, and love exists as a result of life. Yet in spite of being born for love, most of us remain-touch starved and emotionally neglected throughout life.
NOTE on the word TRUELOVE:
Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary define 'truelove' as 1) a sweetheart, a truly loving or loved person; or 2) the herb Paris (Paris quadrifolia) .
I find the second denotation particularly interesting as the herb Paris also symbolizes true love. This herb has a whorl of four leaves, suggesting an intricate ornamental 'truelove knot', which is regarded as an emblem of interwoven affections, a relationship of true love.
Comments about this poem (Every Man Remains an Island by Paul Hartal )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes