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,
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 thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
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.


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

  • Chris (3/12/2020 1:23:00 PM)

    It makes one want to stop googling and tweeting and blogging and going to MyCrap, and reconsider that faces are more important- in the long measure- than the consumerist fantasy we live.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • June Freshney (2/1/2020 11:24:00 AM)

    Can't get this out of my head as I reflect on the first day of our being out of EU, Feb 1, he knew what he was about!(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • This is not a poem. (12/29/2019 7:32:00 AM)

    This is not a poem so far as I know. It's from a sermon. Who did the line breaks?(Report)Reply

    ckabraham(1/26/2020 8:52:00 PM)

    Donne himself did. The Meditation was published first; the poem later, but both are always attributed to him.

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Yusuf Kabirat Titilayo (11/17/2019 2:26:00 AM)

    No man is truly an Island.(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Yusuf Kabirat Titilayo (11/17/2019 2:21:00 AM)

    Hmmm I am proud to be an African...(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Guti36 (10/30/2019 1:51:00 AM)

    Discuss and compare with: Henley’s...Invictus(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • joe mamma (9/30/2019 6:59:00 PM)

    you lookin cute todayAlready ReportedReply

    4 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Captain Obvious (9/16/2019 4:00:00 PM)

    I can lose myself in the deep thoughts that this poem provokes.

    Beautiful poetry.(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • yoxise (9/15/2019 2:08:00 PM)

    My last month paycheck was for 11000 dollars… All i did was simple online work from comfort at home for 3-4 hours/day that I got from this agency I discovered over the internet and they paid me for it 95 bucks every hour.... Here ======►► www.more.cash61.com ★★★COPY THIS SITE★★★Already ReportedReply

    3 person liked.
    24 person did not like.
  • Drahma (9/3/2019 5:26:00 AM)

    Good lord, why would a poetry appreciation site EVER use a computer generated voice to read the poetry... Honestly, that's almost sacrilegious.(Report)Reply

    12 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (6/16/2019 2:10:00 AM)

    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend's
    Or of thine own were:

    great write 10++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Fintan (5/13/2019 5:24:00 AM)

    The poem is ageless. It is as relevant now as it was when it was written.(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (5/7/2019 4:20:00 AM)

    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend's
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man's death diminishes me.../// o what a greatly wrote these lines are; love this great poem(Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Manpreet SinghManpreet Singh (4/14/2019 6:37:00 AM)

    Everyday we die a little.(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • LEANNE JONES (4/12/2019 7:35:00 PM)

    cONNECTION OF MAN WITH THE EARTH ANDTO ONE ANOTHER IS SYMBIOSIS which we see all over the place between man and the plants and animals, But fascism denies all of this(Report)Reply

    sherry(11/21/2019 10:57:00 AM)

    radicalism destroys understanding among humans

    7 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Nomat (4/7/2019 2:27:00 PM)

    Hkkhfdgj(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • anada (3/12/2019 4:27:00 PM)

    this poem is a suck 1/5 would give 10 if could(Report)Reply

    Galen Clark(9/25/2019 2:58:00 PM)

    I don" t understand anada's comment, very odd.

    The Doctor(9/24/2019 5:53:00 AM)

    There always has to be one person who, lacking any semblance of a life, has to come on and make a banal, trollish statement just to oppose everyone else.

    BDwolfhoud(4/6/2019 9:20:00 PM)

    That anyone could describe Donne's masterpiece as a suck is beyond me

    3 person liked.
    22 person did not like.
  • OmarE (2/13/2019 6:37:00 AM)

    https: //omar-poetry-island.blogspot.com/(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Alfredolski (1/13/2019 12:25:00 PM)

    And my Yoruba grey hairs will say “igi kan kii da igbo se“ A tree doth not make a forest(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Dante Michael Soiu (12/14/2018 4:21:00 AM)

    The Individual Good versus The Common Good. It is 100% wrong of the Premise of what the Leftist Democrat Individual (Especially the Feminist and All Those Who Smoke Weed, Do Drugs and Its Legalization. Abortion and Doing Drugs and Its Legalization Comes From The Same Tree.) says that I can do whatever I want, if I do not hurt myself.(Report)Reply

    6 person liked.
    15 person did not like.
Read all 152 comments »




What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: sea, death, friend



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, May 30, 2013


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