"By now most people know Robert Coles. Or for their own sake they ought to."—New York Times Book Review
"Today, nearly every American poet owes a debt to [William Carlos] Williams, but Coles saw something in him which all too many poets miss: the doctor, for whom treating his patients was a matter of sensitively responding to them—and who could move from treating them to writing about them with the same sensitivity. Coles himself became a psychiatrist; he learned how to listen to people, how to care for them. And now he gives their words back to us."—Soho Weekly News
"This book is all of a piece—and voice—with Robert Coles's life work. John Ciardi, the poet and translator, once surmised that 'finally, a man is defined by what he does with his human attention.' Robert Coles' poems provide remarkable examples of a life in definition and re-definition. Dr. Williams would be more than pleased. He would be impressed."—Pharos
Robert Coles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, a leading child psychiatrist, a compassionate and thoughtful essayist, and a sensitive, deeply moving poet. In his days as a medical student he had the good fortune to know Dr. William Carlos Williams, an experience which has remained lasting for Dr. Coles—and which has inspired Rumors of Separate Worlds.
Coles describes this volume of reflective poetry best, calling it "a mind's struggle to make sense of the world's apparently limitless ironies, ambiguities, contradictions, not to mention its fatefulness, the rule of luck, the reign of the arbitrary, the accidental in our lives." Rumors of Separate Worlds aptly represents the life of one of our most humane and important writers and thinkers.