No Man Is An Island
by John Donne (1572-1631)
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.
John Donne is rightly acknowledged as one of the greatest romantic poets of the English language; it is the language of William Shakespeare. It is a will `o the wisp that rolls like a gently meandering river through the lush and pastoral English landscape, as it ebbs and flows upon our ears, idly caressing with it`s mesmeric fluidity.
No Man Is An Island is one of the most popular poems ever written, and as such, it`s been analyzed to death; when all is said and done, we are gregarious and social creatures who thrive upon the company of others for the most part. For society to remain healthy it needs the nurturing of mutual communication; a sociological democracy of voices where (in theory at any rate) variety of opinion and individuality keeps the body politic from corruption, decay, and death.
Isolation for Donne was the enemy of social health and good order; philosophically and materialistically we are all in it together, because we need each other`s help to travel down the road. A healthy society is not about personal isolation from the trials and tribulations of others, but to bend down and help another out of the gutter if need be, because we are all a single small, but vital piece of the greater whole………Every man is a piece of the continent.