Lost Yellow A poetry collection by Nicholas Trandahl published by Swyers Publising/2013
First off I have to say, I don’t usually do book reviews. I do little short goodreads reviews, but this poetry book needs it. No, it calls for it.
I discovered Nicholas Trandahl’s work on Twitter and loved what I read so I purchased his first poetry book collection. Lost Yellow is a poetry book that takes a walk into the mind of a soldier in war torn Middle East. It feels as if he is alone in a forest, walking among his fellow soldiers, but devoid of feeling. He sees the horrors of war, and this in itself is difficult for any person, but as a poet and a lover of humanity, it is even harder to digest. Poets are a sensitive bunch of writers.
This poetry book also dives into depression and suicide and how PTSD has affected so many soldiers’ lives. Gunshots and battle would drive most men to combat their own inner demons. Trandahl displays this with certainty and grabs the reader’s attention.
Trandahl’s prose delves deep into the heart of a soldier, witnessing his brothers die on the battlefield. When I fold pages in poetry books, it means I am going back to that page. It kept on happening with Lost Yellow. The first page I folded was on Regret. The following is an excerpt,
“In Hell’s hot breath, storm of war.
A siren, air’s ominous drum.
I abandoned you,
Oh! Comrades in Arms.
I should’ve stayed with you.
I should’ve burnt with you.
Lived and died with you.”
The progression of the collection moves forward from the battlefield to his time at home after being discharged to his attempted suicide and finally to achieving some kind of inner peace within himself. However, the battle here is not on land, but within a soul. The hardest part of life is surviving it, and Trandahl explores this struggle of wanting to die versus wanting to live. Plain and simple. Yet how this can eat a person alive.
The poem Depression really stood out for me.
“I will besiege your mind,
Your intellect, your body,
And you very soul.
I will cast your shadows,
And those around you,
In a more vast profound,
Unholy glory of darkness.
I will make you forget,
All the things that once,
Brought joy to your heart.
I will force you to take pills,
Where once you were so,
So very adamant against them.
I will kill you, Nicholas.
If you give me an inch,
I will kill you.
I could not pick an excerpt, for the whole poem is spectacular. Here the poet embodies the true killer is within us. We have the power and the strength to live or die. How the mind plays with our logic, how the mind has its own terrors. I think I have read this poem at least five times. I was also in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, so no-wifi, no distractions, this book had my full attention.
When I pick up a poetry book to read I want to feel the story, hear how the words sound next to each other. It’s a love affair for me. There are so many folded pages here, it’s going to be read over and over again. The most beautiful part of poetry is reading it over again. When a poet achieves that for a reader, there is no better accomplishment.
His style of writing is graceful and gut-wrenching at the same time. Reminiscent of Raymond Carver and Modern poets of our time.
I highly recommend you buy this book. Nicholas Trandahl also illustrated the cover. Quite a talented American poet and painter. Looking forward to his new collection.
Check out his website. http://www.nicholastrandahl.com
Check out his Amazon page and short story collections.http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=a9_sc_1?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Anicholas+trandahl&keywords=nicholas+trandahl&ie=UTF8&qid=1456412936
Thank you for reading and comments are welcome.