Quiet in a Quiet House is a collection of poems about people and places no longer here. The landscape, whether Ireland, Italy, France, Japan, is characterised by quiet – interrupted at points by keening, by gales of laughter, by rants. Memory cuts both ways, past and future. People are depicted as souls – as in these lines about a woman shoring herself up to enter her own house: ‘Not polite to barge in, but:/there’s the step, there’s the door. It has to/be done. It’s like eating a small cake,/courage. She enters, her dog at her side,/sunshine at her back, and deep shade.’
Richard W. Halperin’s uniquely conversational poetic mode is known to those who have followed his ‘late arrival’ beginning with the seminal Anniversary (2010, Salmon Poetry).