Barry L. Zaret publishes third poetry collection

May 10, 2021

Barry L. Zaret’s new book, A House of Many Rooms, has received glowing pre-publication praise. Thomas P. Duffy, M.D., writes that the book “is a glittering memory palace filled with treasures that capture, in splendid poetic words and images, ‘emotion recollected in tranquillity.’” He adds: “Some of the rooms echo the New England pastoral tone of Robert Frost while others contain the murmurs of William Carlos Williams and shared lives in medicine. Undergirding the whole structure is a life lived in and by the wisdom imparted by a strong religious faith. There is nostalgia and a looking back upon a fulfilled life while accepting a sense of the ending. The work represents a late-life style, a sublime artistry that will enchant and deeply move all those who amble through its rooms of poetic eloquence. A towering palace on a hill.”

A House of Many Rooms is the third published poetry collection of Dr. Barry L. Zaret. The first, Journeys, was published in 2012 and the second, When You Can’t Do Any More, in 2017. His poems have appeared in Caduceus, Pharos, Long River Run, Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, and the Otis Observer. Several of his poems have been set to music and performed in concert. In his former life, Dr. Zaret was a cardiologist and the Robert W.  Berliner Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. For twenty-seven years he served as chief of cardiology at Yale and at Yale-New Haven Medical Center.  He is currently Robert W. Berliner Professor Emeritus of Medicine.  He is internationally recognized for his pioneer research in the development of nuclear cardiology and has written or edited five medical texts, one of which is in its fourth edition, as well as several hundred scientific papers and book chapters. He was the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. He has received many awards for his scientific work and is a member of several honorific societies. Dr. Zaret is also an accomplished painter whose oils are part of numerous private collections and one of which appears on the front cover of his current book. He has exhibited in New Haven and Hartford, Connecticut, as well as in the Berkshires.  He and his wife Renée live in Woodbridge, Connecticut and East Otis, Massachusetts.

A House of Many Rooms

… Make yourself a heart of many rooms and bring
into it the words of the House of Shammai and the
House of Hillel, the words of those that declare impure
and those that declare pure …  – Tosefta Sotah 7:7

My heart is a house of many rooms,
enough for a hotel.
Some contain love’s wisdom,
rooms hung with blended tapestries
of past and present.
Others, rooms of wisdom
learned at life’s knee
or scholars’ feet.
Rooms of anger,
once intense, now resolved, 
and rooms where
bitterness still festers.
Rooms of pain
adjacent to rooms of joy,
connecting doors between.
Rooms of conflict and of resolution,
of rewards and of failure,
of discovery and of loss.
Rooms wanting revenge
and those forgiveness-filled.
Rooms for healing
and rooms where
illness thrives.
In one large room,
a tabernacle.
Inside, an ark
with two sets of tablets,
one whole, one shattered.

There is more to see.
Follow the stairs
that lead up and lead down.
My heart is a large home,
always accepting guests.

To read additional selections from the book and for further information, see Atrium Books