With Pulling Words, a collection that simply and honestly showcases the drama and quietude of life, poet Nicholas Trandahl displays written snapshots of the world he has explored and observed. He escorts readers from his childhood in rural Virginia to his troubled time as a deployed soldier in the Middle East, and from the empty beauty of Wyoming to the quaint charm of Martha’s Vineyard.
You can learn so much about perfecting your own craft from reading Trandahl’s poetry. His poems are subtle, so they don’t immediately scream to you what the poem is about. A few of the poems, which stood out to me in Pulling Words, were poem The Lengths We All Go about invisible mental wounds, or Belgium, which is a depiction of terrorism.
Love is more solidPulling Words Nicholas Trandahl
than anything else –
It will never
be broken into dust
by a wielder of terror
The execution of the writer’s lines, and the words he chooses, are so right. This book hooks you in. It brings the outside into the insides of this book, from childhood, to his time as a soldier, and marriage, and fatherhood.
There are lines
that building is a bar nowPulling Words Nicholas Trandahl
one of many that balance out
the number of churches in town
you would be forgiven for missing the meaning, the full weight of the words, because the poems are so multi layered, they tell a complete story. Lets call them onions. The influences, which Trandahl dedicates some of his poems to, (Tolstoy, Hemingway, etc.) make an impression on the writing too.
I was blown away by Pulling Words, Trandahl writes so well, and it is as if Trandahl has an old soul, like me too.
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