Quotations (was, Compulsory service)

Perry E. Metzger (perry@piermont.com)
Mon, 21 Apr 1997 11:20:51 -0400

> >No man is an island.
> That's a reminder, a piece of advice, to each person.
> It's *not* a compusion to follow someone else's idea of service.
> I wonder whether the author [Bartlett's fails me] would approve
> your use of that line.

The author was John Donne, the Elizabethan poet, although I think he
wrote it as "No man is an Iland", but spelling was not nearly as
conventionalized back then.

Lord knows what he would have approved of. He was a rake as a young
man, and began his career as a poet writing what I can only describe
as offbeat love poetry. Later in life he became profoundly religious
and abandoned the work of his early life. I have never found much
evidence on his political views, or if he even had any. I'd guess he
was a squishy collectivist, but there is no way to really know.

BTW, "No man is an island" comes from the same text that contains the
words "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee".