John Izzard has selected two favourite poems “Bright Star” by John Keats, and “No Man is an Island” by John Donne.
Both poems are read by Lionel Farrell.
“Bright Star” by John Keats
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art –
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors –
No – yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever – or else swoon to death.
“No Man is an Island” by John Donne
No man is an island, entire of itself
each 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 if a manor of thine own or thine friends were
each man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind
therefore send not to know for whom the bell tolls
it tolls for thee.