Mississippi Books and Writers
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By John Stone
LSU Press (Hardcover, $28.95, ISBN: 0-8071-2953-4; Paperback, $18.95, ISBN: 0-8071-2954-2)
Publication date: April 2004
Description from the publisher:
Poet and cardiologist John Stone is a man of many voices. A gifted verse maker, he exhibits in his writing the qualities of a compassionate physician, a musician, linguist, naturalist, and down-to-earth yet whimsical grandfather, son, husband, and brother. Selections from four previous books together with twenty-two new works compose this exquisite volume, a “best of the best” sampling from a beloved poet.
Stone’s new poems include humorous and sometimes tough adventures with his ninety-five-year-old mother (she makes the music that wafts from Apartment 8), an exciting sequence drawn from a felicitous yet daunting trip to the Middle East, and reflections on growing up in Mississippi and Texas that begin with puberty and end in a Paris amusement park. Earlier works show Stone immersed in his sons’ soccer practice; teaching, from Atlanta to Oxford; attending at the bedside of patients; and sometimes simply turning his attention toward the everyday. He hears the music of Mozart, sees the light in a Hopper painting, and experiences a joy that inspires his own work. “Like the voyages of Columbus,” he writes, “poetry consists less of finding / what you set out to find, than in learning to live / with what you've stumbled across.”
The inimitable voices of John Stone resound in Music from Apartment 8. Whether listening by phone to his gurgling baby granddaughter a thousand miles away or to his mothers plan for her “whole new life,” he is a poet who hears, and speaks every language of the heart.
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