Greatest Short Poems in English Literature

No Man is an Island

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.

Summary and Analysis
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In this poem, John Donne explores themes of life, death, and the human condition. He suggests that no man is an “island.”

Donne addresses humanity, asking everyone to reconsider how they perceive themselves and their relationship to everyone else. Donne creates a mood and tone that are contemplative and thoughtful, while direct enough to clearly convey the major themes of ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls.’

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