“Stone is not only a valuable physician, but a poet who is able to get his outstanding qualities of imagination and formal technique into a relationship that produces poems of great human value.”—James Dickey
Where Water Begins is John Stone’s first book of new poems in thirteen years. Much has happened during those years, as his readers will learn in its pages. Stone’s artistic gaze, a blend of that of the poet, physician, teacher, and father, is steady and essentially unchanged from before; what has changed is his world. Within the title of the book is both a quest and a mystery: water as source, water as life.
To read Where Water Begins is to follow life’s eddy and flows—along the streets of Oxford, England, or through an Atlanta neighborhood (“Talking with the Mockingbird” in all “its dazzling disguise”); to experience not only “the bitter physics of the world” (the loss of a spouse in “Seeing in the Dark”) but also the healing that comes with the tincture of time (“Abiding”); and to spend Halloween in a very special room of a Chicago hotel, one on the third floor, with a sliding patio door, but “my God—no patio outside!” in “The Good-bye, Good Morning, Hello Poem.”
Where Water Begins is a book of banquets, of many feasts and many musics from a man of many voices.
John Stone is the author of the poetry volumes The Smell of Matches, In All This Rain, Renaming the Streets, and Where Water Begins; and the essay collection In the Country of Hearts: Journeys in the Art of Medicine. He is a coeditor of On Doctoring, an anthology of literature and medicine that since 1991 has been presented to every student entering a U.S. medical school as a gift from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Now professor of medicine (cardiology) emeritus at Emory University School of Medicine, he was for nineteen years director of admissions and associate dean at the school.
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