Visual, auditory, tactile--ever attentive to perception--Lawrence Joseph's third book of poems, Before Our Eyes, generously, almost exotically, blends various tones, atmospheres, and textures into forms of concentrated, pitch-perfect invention. The poet, an astute aesthetician, is also astutely conscious of history, a critical observer of public life. He explores the American identity. He investigates meaning and language. He celebrates the mysteries of beauty and love. The result is a poetry of illuminating effects which captures a profound sense of what it's like to be alive, and what it means to write poetry, in a radically changing times.