The Lives We Live in Houses

poems by Pauletta Hansel

The Lives We Live in Houses is available from your local bookstore, or from on-line vendors such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Pauletta Hansel’s finely wrought The Lives We Live in Houses invites us to enter a space “between the living and the dead,” a space inhabited by the memory of a loved father whose loss is palpable throughout the book, even in the “buckle of a collar” of buried pets, in the sleeping seeds of winter gardens, and in the “bones … cold/inside the moist caves/of our flesh.” Hansel’s poems surprise us with fresh images and with a voice that moves between what William Blake named the voices of innocence and experience, resulting in a rich collection of wise, hard-earned poems. 
— Rebecca McClanahan 

I am thrilled to finally hold in my hands this long awaited full-length book by Pauletta Hansel. The Lives We Live in Houses takes the reader through all the houses­, both literal and figurative­, any person might reside in at the different times of his or her life. There is too, the house of the creative self that concludes this beautifully crafted and deeply felt walk through the many mansions of the human heart. Pauletta Hansel is, indeed, a poet to be reckoned with. 
— Cathy Smith Bowers 

The Lives We Live in Houses maintains Pauletta Hansel’s career-long focus on the personal and poetic necessity of the examined life. Tough-minded and heartfelt at the same time, these often domestic but by no means domesticated poems address love, loss, family, home and movement, and the world of gardens and growing things. In Hansel’s voice, they remain steadfast in their connectedness to the fundamental, represented here by those with whom—and inevitably without whom—we practice our most meaningful lives. 
— Richard Hague 

From the book —


My mother likes a man who works. She likes
my husband’s muddy knees, grass stains on the cuffs.
She loved my father, though when weekends came
he’d sleep till nine and would not lift 
his eyes up from the page to move the feet
she’d vacuum under. On Saturdays my husband
digs the holes for her new roses,
softening the clay with peat and compost.
He changes bulbs she can no longer reach
and understands the inside of her toaster.
My father’s feet would carry him from chair
to bookshelf, back again till Monday came.
My mother likes to tell my husband 
sit down in this chair and put your feet up.