There are two lines from a meditation by John Donne that have trickled through the centuries and embedded themselves in our cultural consciousness, repeated again in by other, lesser mortals. The first is the immortal No man is an island, entire of itself; the other is the haunting never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee, which never fails to send a shiver up my back. Of the rest of his poetry I knew very little, save for these two fragments that every schoolchild comes across at one time or another and remembers vaguely for the rest of their lives.
On this morning I am on my own little island of an apartment, floating in the air, surrounded by the neighboring buildings, everything blanketed in a deep fog. To accompany the words of Donne I have the songs of John Dowland, as reinterpreted by Sting, accompanied by lute music, playing in the background. The poems and songs are of much the same time, and it is fitting that I enjoy them together as the sun comes out and the fog rises. It's going to be a beautiful day.
(to be continued).