Thursday, November 26, 2009

First Words (13)

I was woken this morning by the bell of the church in Panorama tolling dolefully. So today's first words are the famous lines by Donne, which were later turned into a poem...and supplied both Hemingway and Thomas Merton with the titles of twentieth century works:

"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, Meditation 17 Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624)

No comments: