Commenter Bryan D. Finch yesterday mentioned John Donne’s poem “No Man is an Island.” Afflicted with my usual insomnia and melancholy, I’ve dissented from his humanitarian sentiment with these clumsy verses.
Each man is a peninsula, connected to the main,
But on three sides beset and bound by water cold, and rain.
The rocky headland crumbles slow, the narrow isthmus caves,
While inland hearkens not one ear to the devouring waves.
And if a lighthouse it should boast,
It scans an empty sea,
Until, at last, the oil runs dry,
And breakers swamp the quay.
At last, like old Atlantis, subsides that scraggy neck,
Protrudes a while a rocky isle,
Then sinks it like a wreck.