„No man is an island,' said John Donne. I feel we are all islands -- in a common sea.“

Source: Gift from the Sea

Last update June 3, 2021. History
Anne Morrow Lindbergh photo
Anne Morrow Lindbergh72
American aviator and author 1906 - 2001

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Philip K. Dick photo

„A human being without the proper empathy or feeling is the same as an android built so as to lack it, either by design or mistake. We mean, basically, someone who does not care about the fate which his fellow living creatures fall victim to; he stands detached, a spectator, acting out by his indifference John Donne's theorem that "No man is an island," but giving that theorem a twist: that which is a mental and a moral island is not a man.“

—  Philip K. Dick American author 1928 - 1982

"Man, Androids and Machine" (1975), reprinted in The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick (1995) Lawrence Sutin, ed.
Context: These creatures are among us, although morphologically they do not differ from us; we must not posit a difference of essence, but a difference of behavior. In my science fiction I write about about them constantly. Sometimes they themselves do not know they are androids. Like Rachel Rosen, they can be pretty but somehow lack something; or, like Pris in We Can Build You, they can be absolutely born of a human womb and even design androids — the Abraham Lincoln one in that book — and themselves be without warmth; they then fall within the clinical entity "schizoid," which means lacking proper feeling. I am sure we mean the same thing here, with the emphasis on the word "thing." A human being without the proper empathy or feeling is the same as an android built so as to lack it, either by design or mistake. We mean, basically, someone who does not care about the fate which his fellow living creatures fall victim to; he stands detached, a spectator, acting out by his indifference John Donne's theorem that "No man is an island," but giving that theorem a twist: that which is a mental and a moral island is not a man.

Margaret Atwood photo
William James photo

„We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.“

—  William James American philosopher, psychologist, and pragmatist 1842 - 1910

Rudyard Kipling photo
Paul Simon photo

„I am a rock.
I am an island.
And a rock feels no pain.
And an island never cries.“

—  Paul Simon American musician, songwriter and producer 1941

I Am a Rock
Song lyrics, Sounds of Silence (1966)
Source: Lyrics 1964-2008
Context: I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock.
I am an island.
And a rock feels no pain.
And an island never cries.

Nick Hornby photo
Mike Oldfield photo

„We are islands, but never too far
We are islands, and I need your light tonight…“

—  Mike Oldfield English musician, multi-instrumentalist 1953

Song lyrics, Islands (1987)

H.P. Lovecraft photo

„We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.“

—  H.P. Lovecraft, book The Call of Cthulhu

Variant: We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.
Source: The Call of Cthulhu

„We call out into the distance…
Less than a pearl in a sea of stars,
we are a lost island in the shadows.“

—  Enya Irish singer, songwriter, and musician 1961

Song lyrics, Amarantine (2005)

John Donne photo

„No man is an island, entire of itself.“

—  John Donne English poet 1572 - 1631

Source: No man is an island – A selection from the prose

John Banville photo
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Chester W. Nimitz photo

„Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.“

—  Chester W. Nimitz United States Navy fleet admiral 1885 - 1966

Statement after the Battle of Iwo Jima (c. March - May 1945); "UNCOMMON VALOR WAS A COMMON VIRTUE" has been inscribed on the USMC War Memorial.
Context: By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.

William Morris photo

„It happened once, some men of Italy
Midst the Greek Islands went a sea-roving,
And much good fortune had they on the sea“

—  William Morris author, designer, and craftsman 1834 - 1896

The Earthly Paradise (1868-70), The Lady of the Land
Context: It happened once, some men of Italy
Midst the Greek Islands went a sea-roving,
And much good fortune had they on the sea:
Of many a man they had the ransoming,
And many a chain they gat and goodly thing;
And midst their voyage to an isle they came,
Whereof my story keepeth not the name.

Jay Nordlinger photo

„Individuals are responsible for their actions. And yet . . .No man is an island. We are all subject to influences, good and bad.“

—  Jay Nordlinger American journalist 1963

"Thoughts on El Paso" https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/thoughts-on-el-paso/ (August 2019), National Review
2010s

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Juan Ramón Jimenéz photo

„Island of grace, of freshness and of joy, Golden Age of children; always I could find you in my life, a sea of mourning“

—  Juan Ramón Jimenéz Spanish poet 1881 - 1958

"A NOTE TO THOSE GROWNUPS WHO MIGHT READ THIS BOOK TO CHILDREN", as translated by Antonio T. de Nicolas (1985), p. xv.
‪Platero and I‬ (1917)
Context: Island of grace, of freshness and of joy, Golden Age of children; always I could find you in my life, a sea of mourning; let your breeze lend me its lyre high and sometimes senseless like the trill of the lark in the white sun of morning.
I have never written nor will I ever write anything for children, because I believe the child can read the books that grownups read, with some few exceptions that come to everyone's mind. There are of course exceptions too for men and for women.

H.P. Lovecraft photo

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