Photo of "In This House" SignIn Response to the ‘In This House’ Sign: A Poem by Brian Yapko The Society May 11, 2022 Blank Verse, Culture, Poetry, Readings 29 Comments . Read by Susan Jarvis Bryant https://classicalpoets.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/In-This-House.mp3 . In This House… In this house… We value science so much we accept that male and female chromosomes exist and gender is not merely a suggestion. In this house… We know that love is love. We also think that love should be both dignified and sacred And not a prop for ideology. In this house… We will not rewrite history to soothe our fragile egos. We acknowledge wrongs but never hold the innocent to blame. In this house… We think that all lives matter—race and sex, religion, creed and ancestry are not a basis for rejection or for favor. In this house… We value Western culture and believe the Sistine Chapel ceiling warrants more respect than angry, unschooled street graffiti. In this house… We value excellence and therefore won’t reward incompetence as an achievement so slackers can feel good about themselves. In this house… We weigh a person’s character and actions. Morality means actions people take and not the smug, subjective things they think. In this house… We rail against all forms of lawless anarchy, condemning those who burn and break and smash while claiming law enforcement should be banned. In this house… We value patriotic sentiment. The land that guards our lives and sacred rights has flaws but still commands our deep respect. In this house… We value honest justice, life and faith. We face reality and do not grouse. If all that’s clear, then welcome to our house! . . Brian Yapko is a lawyer who also writes poetry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 29 Responses Paul Erlandson May 11, 2022 Well done, Brian! Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 Thank you very much, Paul! Reply Mike Bryant May 11, 2022 Brian, when I see those signs I cringe. They are a master class in propaganda… a claim to godliness for the godless, unless, your god is the WEF. Your answer is necessary and brilliant. Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 Mike, I very much appreciate your comment and your support! Yes, they make me cringe too. When a nearby neighbor put one of these up I just had to do something. Reply Andre Le Mont Wilson May 11, 2022 Brian, this is one of the most powerful and inclusive poems I have read on this site. Your language is potent and relevant. I love the anaphoric rhythm of your repetition of “In this house . . .” Thank you for daring and for sharing. Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 Thank you very much, Andre! Reply jd May 11, 2022 A wonderful response to the stupidity advertised. Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 I appreciate that, j.d.! Thank you. Reply Allegra Silberstein May 11, 2022 The poster speaks in general terms and your poem speaks from your perspective and well done. I respect both. Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 Thank you very much, Allegra! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant May 11, 2022 What a beautiful house – a fair house of decorum and respect. There is no hidden agenda and no serpent wriggling between the stanzas. This is an admirably considered and perfectly executed poetic response to the nefarious and contentious original. Brian, I applaud you for this much-needed reaction to ideologies that are killing the Western world. Your words are a bright beacon of hope on the dark horizon of a wicked world. Thank you very much! Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 Susan, thank you. I am deeply touched both by your generous comment and by your unexpected and heartfelt reading of my poem! That “In This House…” inspired you so is incredibly satisfying to me as a poet and as someone who shares so many values with you. Reply Cynthia Erlandson May 11, 2022 Absolutely brilliant! I despise those “virtue” signaling signs. Behind them, as Susan says, is the Serpent. Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 So true, Cynthia, so true. Thank you very much for your kind comment! Reply Joseph S. Salemi May 11, 2022 The “In This House” signs are the epitome of smug, virtue-signalling pretentiousness, marking the place as the residence of posturing elitists and moralistic drama-queens. We don’t have many of these signs here in New York, for the very good reason that this is still a tough-talking and intelligently cynical city, where a sign of that sort would be an immediate target of laughter and contempt. Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 You have the virtue-signalers pegged very accurately, Joseph. I can’t see one of these signs without getting a little sick to my stomach. I’m glad New York is still safe for reasonable thought. It must be one of the few places left. Reply Margaret Coats May 11, 2022 All such signs are hate signs. The invisible (black-on-black) final line is “Hate Lives Here.” In California, we don’t see the big seven-line signs because people tend to litter their property with smaller ones tailored to personal priorities; these come in many designs with brash slogans and perplexing jargon. To express universal hate without words, we have the alternative national flag of multiple stripes and diagonals in the dullest of colors. Opposing signs invite vandalism, although it seems thus far safe to fly the Stars and Stripes. Brian, the great virtue of your poem is to display charitable clarity instead of hate masked with insidious words. You have spoken truth with impeccable artistry, addressing it to anyone capable of thought rather than drive-by reactive hot flashes. When I saw the picture for this post, I expected sharp satire, but you offer a calm, articulate masterpiece. Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 Margaret, thank you so much for this exceptionally generous comment! I fully agree that the subtext of these signs is “Hate Lives Here.” As for my “charitable clarity” I actually had to reign in some scathing conceits, put on my lawyer hat, step back and speak with restraint to the jury. I’m glad that it appears to have worked! Reply Evan Mantyk May 11, 2022 Last year, I saw quite a few of these signs in Scarsdale (Westchester, New York), one of the richest neighborhoods in the country. Thank you, Brian, for offering a sane alternative. Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 Thank you, Evan! And thank you for publishing this poem. I knew it was a bit atypical in form and substance so I’m glad that it has met a need — or touched a nerve — for so many. And thank you for posting Susan’s wonderful reading! Reply Joseph S. Salemi May 12, 2022 Evan, you saw all those signs in Westchester because affluent white persons don’t think they have a dog in this fight, and so they can afford to make politically fashionable poses without any consequences. It’s just “keeping up with the Joneses.” I’ve seen the exact same thing in wealthy parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut. The higher you move up socially and financially in America, the more “leftist” you are expected to become. Reply Paul Freeman May 12, 2022 I’ll stick to my ‘Welcome’ mat which all the neighbourhood cats use for sharpening their claws. Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 I hear you! I’d be happy if no one felt the need to post signs. It’s a bit narcissistic to assume that all the neighbors want to know what one thinks. Thanks for commenting, Paul. Reply Joshua C. Frank May 12, 2022 Ugh, I used to see that awful sign all the time when I lived in CA. All those things are true, strictly speaking (example: of course love is love, what else would it be?), but liberals have twisted the meanings of each word so thoroughly that they mean completely opposite things from what we would mean if we said them. The blank verse is an interesting angle… Reply Brian Yapko May 12, 2022 Thank you very much, Joshua. “Ugh” just about says it! I live in New Mexico but previously lived in Oregon and California. I’ve seen ’em all over. Reply Sally Cook May 15, 2022 Thanks, very much, Brian. Here’s another take on it. In That Other House Shallow, false, wrongly directed, Callow, weak, and now subjected Followlng the wrong-elected, Wallowing in spume, infected. Reply Brian Yapko May 15, 2022 Sally, this is great! “That Other House” indeed! And the rhymes at both the beginnings and ends of the lines are very clever. Reply Stuti June 2, 2022 Such an amazing reply to that house sign! Agree with Andre on how powerfully inclusive this piece is Reply Brian Yapko June 2, 2022 Thank you very much, Stuti! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.