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June 2010

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Shy White Tiger
June 2013

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Quiet in a Quiet House
January 2016

Catch Me While You Have The Light

Richard W. Halperin

ISBN: 978-1-912561-21-6

Page Count: 106

Publication Date: Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Cover Artwork: Photography: Jessie Lendennie. Design: Siobhán Hutson

Click to play audio Richard W. Halperin reads the title poem from "Cat... play
Click to play audio "And Howth" read by Richard W. Halperin play

About this Book

Catch Me While You Have the Light, Mr. Halperin’s fourth collection for Salmon, emphasises what one poem calls ‘the so what of the different’ in the luminous startling language which has characterised his work from the beginning. Jesus, Miss Marple, Henry James, make brief appearances. Ireland, France, Japan, make longer appearances. Many love poems. People, whether friends or strangers, who are no longer here, are in fact still here, caught – as in a poem about Venice – ‘in the gum of time.’ Joseph Woods has written, ‘like all great artists, Halperin makes no distinction between the living and the dead.’

Author Biography

Richard W. Halperin holds Irish and U.S. nationality, and for the past decades has lived in Paris. His poetry is widely published in journals and magazines in Ireland. Catch Me While You Have the Light is his fourth collection for Salmon. The others are Quiet in a Quiet House, 2016; Shy White Tiger, 2013; and Anniversary, 2010. The latter was published in Japanese by Kindaibungei-sha Press, Tokyo. 2012. A French version, Présence, is the subject of an article in Translation Ireland 2017. He has had seven chapbooks brought out by Lapwing Publications, Belfast. The most recent of these are Prisms and Three Poem Sequences. He retired in 2005 as Chief of Teacher Education, UNESCO, where he edited Reading and Writing Poetry: The Recommendations of Poets from Many Lands on the Teaching of Poetry in Secondary Schools, downloadable gratis in English, French and Spanish. 

Read a sample from this book

Catch Me While You Have the Light

for Paul T Dillon

Pearse Station, Dublin.
A blue net stretched across its ceiling
Keeps objects which my tax euros helped pay for
From falling on my head.

Because of Veronica Lake – ‘The Star Veronica Lake,’
As Weegee entitled his photo of her 
Which belongs in the Louvre – 
Women who worked in wartime factories
Were forced to wear snoods, so that their hair
Wouldn’t get caught in machinery.
My tax euros helped pay for the
Divine blue snood in Pearse.

I drink my coffee bought at the platform shop,
Await my train to Greystones,
Feel like a king.

A pigeon walks with dignity,
Despite intestinal distress,
On the blue net.
Another king.

Pigeons will one day walk through
All of Pearse and all of the Louvre
And other roofless edifices,
As rhododendrons cover the entirety of the isle of Ireland
And as God knows what covers the entirety of France.

The Angelus rings.

Miss Lake looked beautiful.

Catch me while you have the light.
Catch me while you have the light.

And Howth

A brilliant day. We walked the village and the shore. 
Locals, children, dogs.
No Yeatses, no Pollexfens, but one could feel the draw.

You wore a straw hat to protect you from the sun.
Ridiculous if one thinks about it: 
A straw hat versus the sun.

The sun won.
Two years later you died.

Why is it that Paris, Dublin, so seldom return?
A glorious Rosenkavalier we heard at the Met returns often.
Colour, mass, light.
And Howth.

Copyright © Richard W. Halperin 2018

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