Book Review of Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

IMG_7211

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:

 

IMG_6290

 

 

 

 

Drink nectar

When all else fails, flip my hair and pack on the make up

fill up the lines with lies

hook up the bra with magnetic propaganda

but Jim keeps whispering to me from the dead

he made me type his every poem

while getting 100

back when typing had a rhythm

back when poets were rare.

Too much crap and bullshit snow

in beginning of spring

yet all the thieves of my heart

are running in the forest

barely visible to humanity

whose heads are bent

with neck spasms.

I studied it alright and took a break

no one is the best and no one is my favorite

a few appointments missed

will not change my life.

I miss you like a writer misses reading

but when I get my fix of modern love

I have to go back to ancient gods

and drink nectar.

I apologize for my messy hair

getting in the way

of your day.

I’ll step back

take off my robe

and take pictures

you won’t want to see.

Anniversary

Burgundy velvet interior
Godfather scenes
we held smooth hands
bonded with devoted plans
some underground
visible, and invisible.
We giggled, yes, you held my heart with your devious blue eyes

Coffee cup on Anne
bite marks on my neck
well hidden
dancing to the sounds
no one else could hear
first there was the downpour
then all became clear
judging my love with the weather
looking for signs in a dead feather
then we pressed our fresh faces
in the back of the limousine
for a snapshot
in black and white film.
Red roses, white flowers in my dark hair
Pablo Neruda quotes
hand painted angels with hand written tiny
notes.

The artist in me made you swell
you made that? Hand painted each note? You chose red?

Yet, my love, by the time you said
I love your ways
I blocked my ears
and ran for a while.
The moment came and went
lightning and thunder
entered me
I care too much about timing
reading to you in bed
Tropic of Cancer
and then you loved him too
you said don’t ever stop
and Now I do.

What are you doing? I don’t even reply.
My pen is on fire
burning ashes
on the lines
no one can reach me
in that place where I belong
no one can stop me at Second Cup
and ask me what went wrong.

This day is sealed within us
we flew to London, Greece
and slept where Gods slept
as your Spartan shield
protected me
as it did from the start
when you tiptoed into my broken heart.