Why did I start writing poetry?
Early on, as a schoolboy in Brooklyn, NY, I learned that grammar,
syntax, and even spelling were overlooked by the teachers, if
you made your composition a poem. Not only that, but they tended
to give higher marks for poetry, rather than prose. So, it became
my "gimmick" to improve my grades in English.
Oddly enough, I am listed in my high school yearbook as "Brooklyn
Tech's Poet Laureate." Yet there are none of my poems in
those yearbooks. Apparently, the teachers were more impressed
than were the student editors.
After returning home from WWII, I attended college at night.
My narrative compositions (they didn't want poetry) came back
marked "Not of interest to everyone," or "the
language is not colorful enough." When I tried writing about
a house of prostitution, which should have been of interest to
all in that male college, the colorful expressions and repetitive
phrases came back as "Too alliterative." So I went
back to my personal poetry on occasion, and just for family and
Some years later in 1987, I attended a Third Armored Division
Reunion. On the flight home from Wichita, I composed a poem about
that experience. I submitted it to the editor of the Division
Newsletter. After it was printed, my work at last received a
strong response. I decided to submit an ode to each edition of
the Newsletter, and the 703rd TD Battalion's newsletter "Road
Block." Now, in 2005, with nearly 80 Army-related poems
under my belt, I am very happy to be part of this great Third
Armored website. With three noted exceptions, all of the poems
are actual recordings of the events as they happened.
This Internet collection of my poetry is dedicated to my wife
Ruth Vivian Wise Paulson for putting up with me for 55 years.
When asked if she ever considered divorcing me, she replied,
"Divorce -- never, but murder quite often."
Hap & Ruth Paulson on their wedding day in