For Whom the Bell Tolls by John Donne


The poem "For Whom the Bell Tolls" speaks of how all humans have a connection to one another. The lines 1-4 compares all living people to a continent. Lines 5-9 is a simile which speaks of if one person washes away, then the entire continent is affected. He then uses alliteration in line 10 to state that death diminishes everything. The poem goes on to state that the bell tolls for thee.

This poem is taken from Meditation 17, from Devotons Upon Emergent Occasions. It was originally written as prose, but has worped into a poem throughout the years.


For Whom the Bell Tolls

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each 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 thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Published in 1624 within Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions.

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