> Click on the title page above or the PDF icon below to download the PDF Triumphs of the Heart poetry book which will open in a separate window.
Throughout her life Paula returned to poetry again and again as a vital form of creative expression. In 2016 she started to go through hundreds of poems to include in a collection for publication. After she fell ill this project was put on hold. I've taken the liberty to finish this collection and am presenting it here for the first time.
Paula chronologically ordered this collection of 92 poems into 3 chapters with moon titles as allegory. A large portion of the poems is biographical in nature.
The Dark Side of the Moon is the first section and represents poems written in the 1960s and 1970s. As indicated they are mostly dark and introspective observations. They are the writings of a young girl surviving in the big city for the first time. A lot of her poems were written on the job on bar napkins between shifts. They contain the usual artistic “angst” and the search for self and deeper meaning. It also covers the time when her younger sister Amy commits suicide, a time of great family strife.
Full Moon is the second section and covers poems written in the 1980s and 1990s. These poems are more positive and chronicle a time of happiness as Paula meets and weds Jack Riley and later in the late 90s meets Steve Hill. Paula is becoming a woman in “Full”. She is gaining confidence, which allows here to meditate on subjects like love, inequality, irony and nature as well as looking into her various addictions.
Eclipse is the last section and covers 2001 until her death in 2018. The moon is entering another phase and it’s neither good nor bad. It reflects a person at the crossroads and eventually facing her mortality. But along the road she takes time to thank friends and relatives with love poems and celebratory greetings. And in the end thanking her spirit within.
I always marveled at Paula’s ability to craft a meaningful rhyme. She never had to go to Hallmark for birthdays, holidays or anniversaries. Paula could sit down and effortlessly pen a heartfelt, clever and joyous poem. She had the gift of turning words into gifts for other people. I was the recipient of many of these poems and I treasure every one of them.--STEVE J HILL