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October 1, 1982

In All This Rain: Poems by John Stone

Author Affiliations

Los Altos, Calif

JAMA. 1982;248(13):1647-1648. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330130095048

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John Stone is characterized in his jacket copy as a doctor who is also a poet. This is his second book, and so much better than the first one that next time he might be described as a poet who is also a doctor. He writes of people still alive seven years after cardiac catheterization followed by surgery; the heart as such, and how it works; death that comes "slowly as rust" or "suddenly, as when someone leaving a room finds the doorknob come loose in his hand." Yet it would be a mistake to go to this poet thinking of oneself as "a doctor who is also a reader," looking for medical/ surgical symbolism or "inside stuff" that only a physician/reader can appreciate—a mistake, for one, because only a few of the 51 poems of In All This Rain have anything physicianly about them, and for another, because those