This is a collection of 61 poems by physician-poet Richard Bronson. The first and largest section contains many poems related to the poet's medical life and experience, including several that arose from his formative and bittersweet years at New York's Bellevue Hospital ("A Bellevue Story," "I Shall Be Your Vasari," and "Pain"). Others re-imagine events in the history of medicine ("The Knowledge," "Plague Doctor," and "The Man Who Dissected His Wife's Brain")

The second section, "Ten Portents of the Future," contains poems that examine the symptoms and signs of contemporary malaise, but find the diagnosis uncertain and the prognosis . . . who knows? It appears grim, though: "I am a lame man / gone to seed / at the terminus of an age." ("After the Big Bang," p. 94) In his last suite of poems, "Six Aspects of Love," written to his wife, Bronson reveals his strong, but purely personal, antidote for the cruelty of our "barbarous times."


Today's doctors often present themselves as detached and cold, cerebral rather than caring. Not so with Richard Bronson, a reproductive endocrinologist whose compassionate heart fully energizes the poems in Search for Oz. In his work Bronson combines the precise craftsmanship that one would expect from a surgeon with the passion of a man open to his own feelings and those of others. Search for Oz is a pilgrimage into his own heart by a man who has "all the time in the world / and none." ("Another Country," p. 11) It is a journey of sadness and celebration, of apocalyptic ending and hopeful resolution, and most of all, of musical "chords that resonate / with the human heart!" ("Ode to My Piano," p. 51)


Padishah Press

Place Published

Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.



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