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Thursday, April 15, 2010

O Day of Mourning, final part

The best poem that connects us to all of us was written almost four hundred years ago as part of a sermon. It’s the one that always comes to mind when the news is of another natural or man-made disaster.


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 friends 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 (1572-1631), the greatest of the English Metaphysical poets, lyric poets whose work displayed a subtlety of thought and fanciful imagery and often used one (surprising) metaphor to bring together two very different ideas

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