Book Review of Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

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Pulling Words is like Pulling Weeds for Nicholas Trandahl

Rating: Five out of Five stars

Nicholas Trandahl is one of my favorite contemporary poetic voices. I have read his poetry books before and every time I am amazed at the simple brilliance. His approach is methodical, reflective, environmental and brutally honest. Trandahl’s new poetry book published by Winter Goose Publishing is his best yet. Trandahl captures, nature, war, peace, love and family life in such divine poems that reflect nature and the beauty of everyday life. He finds the extraordinary in the ordinary and this is what makes Nicholas Trandahl a true poet. His ability to see thunder, rain, war zones through his quiet eyes. He is a peaceful man, and his beautiful soul is pulling words out of the universe with exquisite gestures.

There are so many poems in this collection that reached out to me and touched me. In particular, “The House on Pine Street” this poem describes the poet and his childhood home, how memories of riding bikes with friends, first kisses, innocence and that unique bond we have with our first home. Some memories are cherished and some we try to forget. His attention to detail and imagery is so accurate you feel as if you are looking at the home standing right next to him. You are observing and feeling his memories too. This is the the true nature of literature to share your art through the magic of words.

Here are the poems I read over and over again and will continue to do so.

“Maybe Poets Are Not Liars” just by the title I knew I would love this poem as a poet I understood it.

“Decaying Qualities”

I’m reading Mary Oliver

because there is no poet on earth

better to read

in the quiet sunshine.”

This poetry book is a must read for readers who adore Mary Oliver and Jim Harrison, this genre of poetry brings reminds me why I love poetry so much.

“Belgium”

The swell of time

is illuminated with

terrible moments-

more being born

each golden morning. ”

In “Things To Appreciate” Nicholas Trandahl shows us once again how to appreciate the moment, the objects that bring us joy in that moment, such as a book, a typewriter, smoking a pipe, having a cocktail. We see throughout his work that capturing these moments in poems is his forte. The times he is surrounded by his family and feels the love, these are the moments we all go through but rarely stop to think that it is fleeting. This is the magic of being a true poet, living in carp diem and writing about it. Trandahl captures these moments and paints them on his poetic canvas. Time and place is essential, his poems visit Wyoming, Martha’s Vineyard and deep forests. As someone who spent many childhood summers in The Cape, I understand the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard and relate to the scenery described, as well. Towns, cities are also relevant to Trandahl’s poems. The feeling one gets upon looking at quaint towns in the New England coast, can also bring back childhood moments.

 

Another theme throughout this book is war and the brutal nature of it. Equally, solitude and finding yourself as an individual by being truly alone and listening to yourself. This is so hard for most people to do, but as a poet, this is essential. The escape from the every day life and the solitude required to write, the discipline, the calmness. Trandahl evokes that calmness with his description of nature and his walks with his family and daughters. Everyone is in this book whom he loves. There is no particular order, there is only the poet’s observation.

 

Trandahl’s reflective poems makes the reader think about all that is important in the universe and not once is money brought up. This is the wisdom and power of words that have experience. When a poet has so many experiences in his or her life, there is more to discover about human nature and our motivations. If there is anything positive I can take from reading Pulling Words, it is to appreciate the moments that we have with our family, the universe and our own life experience.

 

Nicholas Trandahl writes at the edge of the Black Hills of Wyoming, where he lives with his wife and children.

Twitter: @PoetTrandahl

Facebook: Poet Nicholas Trandahl

You can purchase his book here:

 

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A punch drunk poet: Book Review of Stupid Flowers by Brice Maiurro

IMG_42595 out of 5 stars.

I have to say receiving a signed copy of this book in the mail was a real treat. I loved it from the first page and the first look. I know when a poetry book will be one of my favourites or not, by the feel, look and glancing at a few poems,  I instantly knew this one would be one of them. Brice Maiurro’s debut poetry book, Stupid Flowers is a poetry book with a certain rawness to it that I could relate to.

Brice Maiurro brings in actual events, whether true or not, and combines them in every day poetry. Written in lowercase and with unusual witty titles each poem stands out for its own quirky themes. Titles such as, “Talking to God Over Shitty Coffee at Denny’s” make you smile and by the end of the poem, make you reflect on life, destiny and society as well as church. Maiurro has a way of stirring the poetry pot with the important ingredients floating on top and the mundane sinking to the bottom. In the poem “3015 Kamia” there is a section that I read over and over again.

“i’ve been taught to look at the mountains

the sky the trees the murals on the sides of buildings

but you reminded me how god hides

in the places you’d least expect to see her”

What I adore about these four lines is how poetry, the way it is supposed to be written, should not tell you what the poem is about, but should hint and leave it open-ended. First off, he compares man made art, such as murals, to the sky and in doing this he includes the concrete with the abstract, to emphasize his point of beauty and attraction is not limited to nature, as most poets feel; in essence, we see it as we drive or walk in the city. Murals are an oddity, because people do stare and love art on walls; the grandiose and mystery of it, the colours and the talent, this alongside god being a woman, is a poem that leaves you in a reflective mood.

Each poem and use of stream of consciousness leaves you to interpret this poetry book with all its implications. Poetry is ambiguous, this is what most people find hard to understand about poetry. By leaving some things unsaid, you, the reader, fill in the details, and Brice Maiurro, does an exceptional job of this. The interpretation of his poems leaves the reader to imagine what and this is what literature is all about.

There was one poem, “dear maria” which especially touched me and made me cry. Not only is my daughter’s name, coincidentally Maria, but she is also going through her own little turmoil as a teenager, and this poem was reflective of all the maria’s. I made her read it, and at sixteen, she wants to read this poetry book. It is an outstanding poem, and by far, my favourite of this whole collection.

Brice Maiurro makes up his own composition of life with these poems in Stupid Flowers. This is a debut collection of poetry by this poet out of Denver, Colarado, and I am looking forward to reading more of his work in the future.

I think this is a valuable book, in consideration of what other poetry books are out there circulating in the poetry section.  This book reflects the heart of a true poet with a talent to see the unseen.

Short Bio:
Brice Maiurro is a poet out of Denver, Colorado. Stupid Flowers marks his first full collection of poetry, published by Punch Drunk Press. His poetry has been featured by The Denver Post, Birdy Magazine and Suspect Press. His poetry blog, Flashlight City Blues, was recognized as one of the top 25 poetry blogs online by Feedspot. Brice also enjoys road tripping. His goal is to visit every National Park in the United States.

Published by Punch Drunk Press Ltd.IMG_0800

Instagram: @maiurro

Twitter: @IAmBricesTweets

 

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A poet with a deep voice. Book Review for “Together and by Ourselves” by Alex Dimitrov

 

Book Review

IMG_71355 starts out of 5

What I like most about Alex Dimitrov’s poetry book, Together and by Ourselves, is the simple yet brilliant one liners amidst the narrative poems. First of all, I am a big fan of full length poetry books that contain long poems. Here, I am not ever disappointed. Each poem will take the reader into a world that inhabits poetry, the world of outward circumstances meeting the inner workings of the mind.

This poetry book is divided into five sections. In the first part there are poems that reach deep into the psyche of human motivation and relationships. In the poem, “Champagne,” there is a line that stand out for me, “Believe me, he said, every hand finds the right door without keys.” The poem continues in this manner of interrupting your thoughts once you grasp his meaning, then we jump to actions and sequence of events that makes the poet question and answer existential questions. Dimitrov is a poet that does not stop questioning.

Most of the poems fit precisely on one page, this book is wider than traditional poetry books, to enable the reader to feel the full effect of each sentence. I love the formatting and presentation of each poem. I enjoy the visual, artistic cover of a girl hanging from a door frame, her feet not touching the ground, she could be interpreted as some kind of muse or a human wall in front of a door. I connect with the girl instantly, and perhaps feel a kindred connection to her as I, myself, have felt that disassociation from society and people as if I was floating in space, yet at the same time, in a home, together among objects and people. You can probably write a whole article on the cover alone.

The second part of the poetry book takes us to Los Angeles and the power and the glory of stardom, dreams, illusions and the human condition. On of my favourite poems is in this section, “Jesus in Hollywood,” and the brilliant poem, “American Money.”

“If you die enough times, you become your own saint.” This line is taken from the poem, “Speeding down PCH.” As a true poet’s poet, Alex Dimitrov, reflects on nature and life with hard facts. His unique poetic voice captures your attention and requires the reader to stop, pause and reflect or regret on the philosophy behind his poetry.

The rest of the book I enjoyed on a slower pace. Reading a few poems every day up until the final one, which was epic in its masterpiece way of combining human frailty and emotions.

This is a poetry book to have and to cherish like a marriage of true minds.

I have selected a few pieces but nothing could give this book justice, besides holding it in your hands, and reading a true poet’s mind.

 

If you would like to read more by Alex Dimitrov, see below
http://www.alexdimitrov.tumblr.com
Twitter: @alexdimitrov
Publishers: Copper Canyon Press

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Book Review of “Bones in the Garden” by McKayla Debonis

Book Review of “Bones in the Garden”

by McKayla Debonis

 

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My Rating: 4/5 stars

This poetry book is adorable, even though it is about heartache, McKayla Debonis has written a book that takes place during a painful breakup, it also illustrates a resourceful and strong-willed woman. I am so excited to get a signed copy by the author for my collection. I cherish poetry books, and especially signed copies! I know how much time and energy a poet spends in creating a book and it is an extension of our own soul.
“Bones in the Garden” is a small, compact book that is more of a chapbook, than a full-length poetry book. It consists of seventy-nine pages with poems that are a couple of lines per page, the longer pieces consisting of half a page.
The poetic form of this poetry book influences the reader as does the poem, namely, the micro-poetry collection inside of this book, so hence poems have their own effect quite apart from the content. For instance, a sonnet, speaks with precise logic, but here in this poetry book, the form is free verse and open-ended. The messages of these poems reinforces the thought of the poem, which is basically a broken heart and spirit.
The poems are easily understood. The word “bones” is a central theme throughout the book, italicized for emphasis, but at times that may seem overly stated.
The poem
“Bones ii
Deep in my bones I know that I
will never be the same again”

In essence, Debonis is telling us how every relationship changes us and after a hurtful and emotionally abusive one, we will never be the same. I feel that these simple statements are more sentences than poems. She has written a poetry book full of lovely quotes that can lift one’s spirit and broken heart.

I have included some photos of my favourite pieces. My favourite poem is “Barren Wasteland.”

 

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The illustrations by Rachel Aquino add a special quality to the book. This is a cute book to have in any collection.

McKayla Debonis can be found on the social media sites below.

She has a beautiful website at http://www.mckayladebonis.com
Her book can be purchased at all on-line bookstores.
Twitter: @mckayladebonis
Goodreads : McKayla Debonis
Instagram: @mckayladebonis
Her email: mckayladebonis@gmail.com

 

 

Book review of “whisky words & a shovel III” by r.h. Sin

“whiskey words & a shovel III” is a modern poetry book that redefines poetry in the modern era

   Book Review by Christina Strigas

5 out of 5 stars

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I know that being a poet in the modern world is never easy. Everyone judges you. Your husband, your wife, your lover, your friends, your neighbours. It’s not easy to pour your heart out on paper, on the internet or in a book. Poetry books are sacred to me, I get to carry them around, fold their pages and read them over and over again. r.h Sin is a modern pop poet. He is making poetry popular again, with his Instagram account and his simple, brilliant way of writing from his heart and sleeve. There is nothing wrong with that. Most may criticize this, but I can easily read Dorothea Lasky in one sitting and r.h. Sin. Poetry in another and enjoy both books for different reasons. Reading great poetry is an experience, an individual experience that varies from person to person according to their own life and knowledge. I can connect to poetry and its various forms and techniques, as an English lit Major and as a woman. These are some excerpts from his book.

 

I have been following r.h. Sin ever since he was with Underwater Mountains and the whole publishing fiasco that I was a part of with 451 Press, another division of that company. Although Sin may have many trolls and haters, he has an abundance of love and support. In essence, he is a poet that carries on and focuses on his art.
The free verse and honesty that is shown in “whiskey words and a shovel III” actually surprised me. To be honest, I was preparing myself to not like it as much as I did. My daughter owns his other two poetry books and I glanced at them and although I never read them and never gave them a chance, I jumped to the conclusion that “it wasn’t really poetry.” And who am I to say that? I am trying my best to keep poetry together. Sometimes I write to express, other times to spurt forth words that choke me. It seems to me, that we need to evolve in our perception and high brow attitude of poetry. This is a best-seller. This book has sold so many poetry books that, damn, you ask yourself, who is reading poetry? Well, it appears to me that r.h. Sin has a gift and the masses are reading his uplifting words. His gift and brilliance lies in his simple expressive way of telling us a story from his own personal experience.

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If you are a woman, who has been taken advantage of, ignored, rejected, abused, not loved the way you deserve… it is easy to see yourself on these pages. Most women have fallen prey to men that can’t love them back and vice versa. Sin sees the strength in women and expresses it with beauty. The fact that the poet is a male, makes the words he writes about women even more poignant. His point of view gives us another perception as well, of a man, who wasn’t loved the way he deserved; how women too, can take advantage of love and not give back any intimacy or love in return. That is what I adore about this book…the fact that we get both perspectives of not receiving the love we need.
I also adore the size of this book, and its compact nature. The paper feels almost like newsprint and the typeface is typewriter font, giving you the feel that it is typed. It has an old feel to it in a modern way.
In the poem, “strange love” Sin writes, “ I hope you find someone who falls in love with the strange that lives within you.”
I read this many times, grasping that we are all in some way strange and we all hope to meet a person that can love that part of us. In essence, this is a fear for most people and we try to hide the weirdness in us, up until we can’t anymore. In that simple phrase, so many emotions run through your mind of being accepted for who you are and realizing that most people just didn’t accept that part of you that you so desperately want them to.
I have read this book twice so far and I know for a fact that I will read it again. This is what a great poetry book should do, make you want to go back for more. I suppose it could be during this particular time in my life, I am feeling more vulnerable and this perhaps made me connect to the words and emotions in this book; however, I felt as a woman, he hit the nail on the head with the misunderstanding of love and lust.
I think that the way he writes is pure and from the heart, and even if you have heard some of these quotes or expressions before, reading them again only hammers home the fact that life is short and don’t stay in a relationship that harms you, but try to move on, no matter how hard, and find a true love. It may be a bit idealistic, but that is what poets do, create a world for the reader. r.h. Sin has a unique poetic voice in the natural way he writes and creates a world for us women, that feels safe and loving.
In “a New York summer” Sin writes a longer piece which portrays a man understanding that he has to walk away from a harmful relationship, and by harm, I am implying not being loved back in return. This is how we harm ourselves, by staying in a relationship that cannot give you what you are giving back.
I have chosen some of my favourite pieces in this book to share with you, but there are too many so I will leave you with a few above.
This poetry book fully explores relationships and how they can turn beautiful and loving with the right partner or the complete opposite with the wrong one. So in the words of r.h. Sin,
consilium I.
the love you deserve
can’t be found
while holding on to someone
who doesn’t deserve you”

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Social media links:
View profile at Medium.com
Twitter: @byRHSin
Instagram: @r.h.sin
https://www.instagram.com/r.h.sin/?hl=en
To buy his book:

Never forget that literature is an art expressed in words.

Thank you for reading and if you have any comments please leave them below.

Book Reiew of “Deciduous” by Higherhawk

Higherhawk has written a poetry book divided into three sections. Love, Grief and Life. Each part reveals a depth to his poems and emotions. There are mostly short poems full of longing and love. Each poem has a title so it is easy to refer back to the poems. “Open Sea” is one that stood out for me, “There is a stillness that falters out in the open sea. Something beyond the calm pulling at my soul, or is that your echo calling me home.”

The pull of the sea and love is compared in a wise analogy. In the poem, “The Veil,” the poet reveals a deep connection with a woman who has touched the poet’s soul with her love.

The illustrations by Lee Zimmerman are a wonderful accompaniment to this lovely poetry book. Some poems have illustrations to reflect the words, such as, “Slips Further: Pen and Ink”


Higherhawk writes romantically and reflects on nature often. He writes about desire and loving a woman as if it were an art. He describes it in detail in the poem, “Clay” where we see how much he adores and cherishes the woman or muse he describes.


Love is comforting in this book; to be loved and to love in return, like the greatest love story, two lovers in a tunnel of love in the middle of the forest or in each other’s arms. The forest is a constant theme within the book, running, walking or being alone among the trees. Equally, the sun and sunlight are also quite prominent in Higherhawk’s poems.

Deciduous’s second part of the book is Grief, and this section depicts the loss of a loved one in extraordinary detail and the heartbreak one carries around.

There are many great poems in this book that touch your heart. The fact that I got a signed copy makes this book extra special to me. I highly recommend this poetry book as a beautiful addition to your collection.
Check out Higherhawk’s Social Media sites below:

https://m.facebook.com/higherhawkpoet/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16620240.Higherhawk

Twitter: @higherhawk

Book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRDKFW5

Book Review of “Abandoned Breaths Poetry, Quotes, and Poetic Prose” by Alfa

Alfa’s first book of poetry is a treasure. A collection of poems, quotes and prose that are filled with maturity and experience. This is what makes Alfa’s poems so relatable, the fact that her words are full of knowledge and experience. A wise poet passing on advice on how to fall in and out of love. Her writing is natural and effortless.
Alfa need only go by one name, like Madonna, because she has superpowers in her diction. Alfa describes love, heartbreak, sorrow, loss and healing all in one poem. This is her gift; how she can combine all these emotions and feelings in one quote or line. There is a plethora of quotes in “Abandoned Breaths” that are perhaps familiar if you follow her on social media. This familiarity in Alfa’s writing is what makes her work so authentic. Her soul, her poetry, her quotes, are essentially her “superpowers” which she portrays with a tactful grace.

“Never make the mistake

of thinking a quiet soul

is an empty one.”

This quote is a popular one of hers that we can find on her social media pages. Evdience of this is how her words are tattooed on people’s skin.

I especially like the longer pieces that are full of soul-searching. Every page is a storm full of words. Let her rain soak you.

I had the pleasure of also editing this book and being part of the production, but last week I sat with it and read it as a reader. I held on to it for a few days and read some passages over and over. I never close the door to poems. I feel that Alfa’s book is one that I will read to help me in times of need. No fluff here.

“Abandoned Breaths” is an honest and inspiring book that can reach out to millions over any type of sorrow or loss they may experience.
Alfa has a universal way of touching your soul through her simple and direct words that make a lasting impression. I would highly recommend this debut poetry book. It is a gem. Check our her blog and other sites below for yourself.
Social Media:

http://www.alfapoet.com

http://www.facebook.com/alfawrites

http://www.instagram.com/alfa.poet

Twitter:@alfa_poet
Her book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/099805030X/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=

Poetry Book Review: Captured Moments Inspiration captured in verse by J.D. Estrada.

J. D. Estrada’s poetry book was a true feast of words and poetic forms. He makes everything sound poetic, even sipping a cup of tea with honey. I enjoyed reading this book very much. I am so used to reading romantic poetry this was so refreshing to me.

“Honey sings and taste buds listen,

with each cup of tea,

Until empty.

The cup does glisten.”

Honey, cantaloupe, or any other simple food that evokes taste for the poetic soul, J.D. can find poetry in all walks and flavours of life.

“Scale” is an example of good sound advice coming from a poet along with a rhyming unique verse.  He observes the sky from an objective view point as a spectator,

“As I drink the sky, I gently swoon,

copper clouds, silver moon.”

The poem, “Retrospect” is my type of poetry, full of longing and love for a lover. “I love you like a lost  kiss in the corner of a memory,” it starts off and briefly illustrates how memories and moments are a mere passing like a wink of an eye.

J.D. Estrada has written a multitude of haikus that explore the human condition and the mystery of truth, desire and expression.

The way he describes drinking a cup of coffee in the poem “Note to Self,” makes me love coffee even more, if possible. I loved everything about this book. It has an old feel to it, J.D. Estrada is a poet with an old soul, he writes poetry with messages about humanity, people and the bonds that tie us together.

I would recommend this poetry book.

Here is his bio and go check out his books.

Bio:

As a child, JD Estrada knew he wanted to be an inventor, he just never knew he’d end up being just that but using words. Estrada is a Puerto Rican indie author who is always looking to better his high score in life. A fan of creativity, he takes the freedom of being an indie writer and indulges in a variety of genres and storylines, consistently pushing his writing as much as possible. He currently has 8 published works including two full length novels, 4 poetry collections (3 in English and one in Spanish), a  short story collection and a bilingual collection including poetry, short stories, and essays. For this year, he expects to release several new titles including 2 new poetry collections, a sci fi novella, and his first YA fantasy novel.

As for links to social media, here you go:

Website – www.jdestradawriter.blogspot.com

Read me in book form – https://smile.amazon.com/JD-Estrada/e/B00CP4834O/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1473866995&sr=8-1

Twitter – www.twitter.com/JDEstradawriter

Instagram – http://instagram.com/jdestradawriter/

Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/

Facebook page – www.facebook.com/JDEstradawriter

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/j-d-estrada

 

 

Review of “Honeyface, Hers Truly” by Maria Magdeleina Lotfi

I met a poet with an old soul trapped in the body of a twenty-two year old. I told her I was trapped in a forty-eight year old body and we understood each other.

We both come from Montreal.

We both come from immigrant parents.

We are both poets.

We exchanged our books on Sherbrooke street. It was a meeting of the minds. We both agreed that we come from a different world and not many people understand us. Upon reading the first page of Maria Magdeleina Lotfi’s poetry book, I felt the pull of her words upon me.

The feeling you get from reading this book is one view from a poet’s life. You delve into her art and admire her way of writing and view of the world. The isolation of being a poet, the freedom, the yearning…all these emotions are poured onto every page.

 

I especially love this poem:

poets

poets

are like

werewolves.

their true selves

come to life

under

the full moon,

howling

their soul out.

 

I must have folded a dozen edges on the corners of my favourite poems. I will go back to read them and that is what makes a poetry book stand out. Going back to read it again.

Her book is full of wonder and knowledge, soul searching and experience. If you want to get drunk on a poetry book, get drunk on this one. If you want to read a refreshing poetry book full of culture, family, love, pain and love, this is the one.

In her poem, “crazy.” Maria Magdeleina Lotfi writes,

” when people call me crazy,

it’s as if they’re pointing out

a mental disease.

i am not a freak.

i am you are me.

i speak out loud

your darkest thoughts.

i wear the details they miss.

i love what is ugly.

i am overwhelmed

as the water

that fills sirens’ lungs.

i don’t twist words

you hurt me with.

i remember them exactly

like old photographs,

and the tone of your voice

with which they were said,

and the hesitation

that surrounds them

never escapes me.”

It is in these effortless ease with words, that Ms. Lotfi writes all the words you cannot say as a writer and poet. There are dozens of poems and prose that leave you breathless.

It was a pleasure to meet such a soul and it is the beginning of a poetic friendship that I will hold dear to me.

Below are some links where you can discover her work.

 https://www.amazon.com/HoneyFace-Truly-Maria-Magdeleina-Lotfi-ebook/dp/B01FRU7212
 

 

 https://mariamagdeleinalotfi.wordpress.com/books/

And her Instagram, where we met…

My book review of Lost Yellow by Nicholas Trandahl

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

Twitter: @AuthorTrandahl

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=1456412936CcDsRuaXEAAYsL2

Thank you for reading and comments are welcome.