John Donne

(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631 / London, England)

No Man Is An Island - Poem by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

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....'

Comments about No Man Is An Island by John Donne

  • Rookie Helena Bispos (2/2/2008 1:12:00 AM)

    Quite simply a classic. (Report) Reply

    8 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Rookie Dick Goddard (10/22/2007 4:26:00 PM)

    'as well as if a manor' should be used in lieu of 'manner'

    Donne, John. The Works of John Donne. vol III.
    Henry Alford, ed.
    London: John W. Parker,1839.574-5. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Cecilia Nicoletti (2/21/2007 12:35:00 PM)

    Mankind as a one big spirit.That s been told from the vedas to the modern holistic science...what you do to other person you re doing to yourself and to humanity.No person will take the place of another.Nor person will be less than a star.
    Stars die and galaxies die.Why dont we? and only two days ago a man I never knew died.He was neighbour from my parents and I llive by his house for 12 years or more.He was a pianist and he played so good.Thats all I know from him and his name.A man is dead...if we re no islands why did nt I have to oporunity to tell him he played so good.We look at each other as strangers in fear.And the bells were for all of us and the person who draws near the island shores (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,647 Points Jasbir Chatterjee (2/21/2006 10:59:00 PM)

    I find the last 2 lines of the poem 'And therefore never send to know for whom
    the bell tolls; it tolls for thee' the most forceful and I feel this is where the whole thrust of the poem lies. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Roger Price (2/28/2005 5:27:00 PM)

    In its simplicity, this poem demonstrates the equality of mankind. 'if a clod be washed away' is any person, rich or poor, of any physical or mental characteristics. No matter how prideful or arrogant, no man is an island, we each need every clod! (Report) Reply

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