In college I was an English Lit major. We bisected, dissected and dismembered hundreds, maybe thousands, of books of fiction, plays and poems. No one believes me when I tell them can’t remember the storyline or characters in any of them. It’s true. The minute I got my hard-earned diploma my brain stored all that information in an inaccessible data bank marked “Misc. other”. Looking back I was a bit daft with that choice of a major – what do you do with a B.A. in English Lit?
In the 4th grade, during National Poetry Month, we were given an assignment to memorize a poem to recite in class. While others were memorizing poems like “Casey at the Bat” or the “Walrus and the Carpenter” I picked “No Man is an Island” by John Donne. Looking back I’m sure my fellow students thought I was a bit daft with this choice.
I wasn’t considered to be a precocious child but even then something inside told me we were all connected in a way that I couldn’t fathom. Looking back I do believe that poem was the seed of finding truth in the Baha’i tenent that we are all connected, we are all one.
The truth I found in that poem made such an impact on me I can still recite it half a century later.
This month is National Poetry Month.
No Man is an Island by John DonneNo 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 a manor of thy friends 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.