When You Can't Do Anymore
Barry L. Zaret, MD
The title poem of Barry Zaret's exquisite new volume of poetry is maddeningly modest and full of unconscious irony. Purporting to describe a physician's feeling of helplessness toward the end of a patient's life (Zaret is a renowned cardiologist), it actually reveals a human being of almost unimaginable warmth, generosity and largeness of spirit, a man who, thinking he does little, does it all. And so does the rest of this wonderful collection, which eloquently celebrates the author's devotion to his Jewish heritage, mourns the loss of patients, dear friends and a beloved wife, and celebrates the dawning of new love and renewed hope. All this is rendered in language of simple and lyrical beauty. In "Anthem," for example, he is thankful for "my rivers/still flowing; /for the years, / still coming; for my sea, / still filling... " And so, happily, are we.
-Victor Altshul, author of Singing with Starlings and Ode to My Autumn