The Poor You Will Have with You Always

In the wake of North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island, this is in the New York Times today:

North Korea’s artillery shells fell on Yeonpyeong Island, a fishing village whose residents fled by ferry to the mainland city of Inchon — where Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s troops landed 60 years ago this fall, three months after the outbreak of the Korean War. Today, Inchon is the site of South Korea’s main international airport, symbolizing the vulnerability of one of the world’s most vibrant economies to the artillery of one of the world’s poorest and most isolated nations.

No man is an island. Each is a part of the main. Here’s John Donne’s poem:

No 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 any manner 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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .

KoreaGetty

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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