Introduction

John Donne was a leading poet of the Metaphysical school.  He was also the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, London from 1621 to 1631. Donne has, despite periodic eclipses in reputation, often been referred to as the greatest love poet in the English language.  He also is noted for his religious verse and sermons, which rank among the best of the 17th century.

"John Donne." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 17 Jun. 2010. school.eb.com.au/levels/high/article/30933. Accessed 15 Nov. 2016.

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.

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.  [Poem Hunter]