Listening time: under 3 minutes.

This is the third poem I chose to share with my family, copied out by hand and sent by post.  Written as part of a series of meditations by John Donne (1572-1631), it is life-affirming even while it speaks of dying. 

Above all, it underlines our connectedness, and despite its specific references to Europe, it strikes me as a poem for humankind.  And I found it noteworthy that Donne, an Englishman living on an island, used the continental mainland as his point of reference for belonging to something larger than yourself. 

I learned this one by heart many years ago, and it was only when I read Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls that I made the connection between his title and the poem, and their common theme of unity with others.

You may also enjoy the first two of this personal selection, one by Robert Frost, and another by W.B. Yeats.

Source: John Donne (1572-1631) – ‘No Man is an Island’

Photo credits: FrankWinkler & dimistrisvetsikas1969 at pixabay

John Donne - quotation from No Man is an Island

WritingRedux Podcast

Poems for my Family 003 - Donne - No Man Is An Island

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