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An introduction by Hap himself in December, 2005


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 friends.

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 1947

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