Joanna Margaret Pauls tragic early death in 2003 robbed us of a major poet, the scale of whose achievement was only fragmentarily grasped even by her admirers. Bernadette Hall has worked through Pauls legacy of artists books, small press publications and manuscripts to present her work in full for the first time.
Following a three-part structure that had been established by Paul herself in early notes towards a selected poems, she gives us 75 luminous poems.
Praise for Like Love Poems
Named one of the Listener's Best Books 2006
We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Victoria University Press and, in particular, Bernadette Hall for bringing us this beautifully produced, fastidiously and intelligently edited collection. These are poems at once of lyrical beauty and rigorous exactness, poems about love that are utterly terrifying ("the conversation"), and poems about gardening that, like Ursula Bethell's (a significant influence, I suspect), turn out to be poems about the universe. They are also poems about death and loss that, like this last, complete example, acknowledge both its terrors and its consolations:
a sick girl
the peonies shatter the shade with their red bodies
their hotness splinters my eyes
til the white curtain returns its kind whiteness
Hugh Roberts THE LISTENER
One reads this book with an excited sense of discovery and a painful sense of loss. A vital and important poet is revealed in the lovely book that marks her sad demise.
Peter Simpson NZ HERALD
About the author
About the editor
Bernadette Hall is a leading Christchurch poet, playwright and literary editor. She was for many years a close friend of Joanna Margaret Paul, and has edited this book with the agreement and assistance of Pauls literary executors and family. She has just taken up her position as Writer in Residence for 2006 at Victoria University.