Understanding poetry – non-contemporary English

‘No Man is an Island’

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. 

John Donne, Meditation XVII, Devotions on Emergent Occasions

continent, clod, promontory, thy, thine, diminish.


“For Whom the Bell Tolls” was taken from this poem and used by Ernest Hemingway for the title of his novel/memoir of the Spanish Civil War. Why?

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