Winter 1995 • Vol. XVII No. 1 Book Reviews |

The Heart’s Difficult Speech

Before Our Eyes by Lawrence Joseph. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1993. 72 pages. $18.00, cloth. In a Time of Violence by Eavan Boland. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1994. 72 pages. $17.95, cloth. A relentless sort of openness runs like a current through these new collections by Lawrence Joseph and Eavan Boland. Both poets write from a sense of displacement, yet they fully confront painful or numbing conditions in which they find themselves. They refuse to turn away from an acutely informed and at times overwhelming awareness of history. They address themselves repeatedly and urgently to the limitations of their medium, language. In spite of their similarities, however, each collection offers the reader a nearly opposite kind of immediate experience. Tracking Lawrence Joseph through his dense, seemingly random arrangements of perception, anecdote, and reflection is to feel the ground breaking apart beneath one's feet. Yet it is the scope of Joseph's sensibil

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To Speak on Behalf

By Leslie Ullman

Before Our Eyes by Lawrence Joseph. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1993. 72 pages. $18.00, cloth. In a Time of Violence by Eavan Boland. New York: W. W. Norton […]

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