Before Our Eyes: Poems

Lawrence Joseph, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $18 (72p) ISBN 978-0-374-11009-3
In the poem ``Some Sort of Chronicler Am I,'' Joseph reveals what could easily be the impetus of his latest book: ``the need, sometimes / to see everything simultaneously / --strange need to confront everyone/with equal respect.'' In a feast of opposites and tangents, the sensual, the intellectual, the visual, the political and even the corporate and legal come together in Joseph's poems to create a voice so rich and intelligent that it can be hard work to follow. But it is effort that pays off in luminous observations and revelations, reminding us that this is the stuff for which we turn to poetry in the first place. In ``Generation,'' as in many of these poems, Joseph evokes spirituality in an unexpected place, describing the mystery of the nuclear age in America: ``Goats under observation in Berkeley / survived Bikini, statue of Jesus / hands opened miraculously bleeding.'' In this and his other new, unpredictable poems, Joseph, who is a professor of law at St. John's University in New York City, passes beyond the more narrative country of his two earlier collections, Shouting at No One and Curriculum Vitae , and takes us to new territories of sensory truth and observation. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 978-0-374-52404-3
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