Abse has a hard act to follow here. Doctor Glas
, which I've discussed elsewhere
, is a superb existential story of alienation, told from the point of view of a doctor who by virtue of his position in society is both especially connected to people - he is privy to their secrets - and especially disconnected - he is privy to secrets. The very fact that his job is to be privy to their most private thoughts means that the nature of his social relationships is compromised and ambiguous. He finds it hard to understand what his relationship is to individuals and that is connected up, of course, to his relationship to society.
Abse continues on this theme with the profound understanding that comes of being both a doctor and a poet. He is at the time of penning this, furthermore, an eighty year old Jewish doctor and poet.
The rest is here