Thomas Herd has just published his first book of poems, titled The Fire That Courses Through Me. The Daily caught up with the writer to find out more about his process.
Who are some of your favorite poets and how have they influenced your literary style?
Although not uniquely a poet, I initially modeled my writing style off of F. Scott Fitzgerald, especially his work in This Side Of Paradise which was sprinkled with his poetry. My writing style is intentionally vivid and flowing, as I aim to express how feeling rivets and moves through a person and show — through action — how we can rise and fall because of it. I try to bring this to life in the most natural way, yet at the same time showcase the awe-inspiring implications of the way we can feel about life.
Tell me about some of the themes you cover in your work — what feelings are you trying to evoke?
The book highlights a young American’s first encounters with old Europe, his first flushes with torrid love, and the poignant disillusionment he faces when he realizes that such awe-inspiring feelings of life simply cannot be sustained. These are themes that have have acted upon me as life-defining forces and really been essential to the formation of my character.
How long have you been writing poetry? Do you have any formal training?
I’ve been writing poetry now since 2012, when I wrote the first poem from the book entitled Sails Swirling In The Wind. I’ve had formal training in school , however my literary style eschews a rigid structure, and instead blends prose with modern influences of hip hop and even psychology.
When did you know you were ready to share your words with the world?
I initially started writing for myself to help fill voids in my life and try to make sense of intense emotions I felt as I was coming of age. Through the process, I actually began to understand myself a lot better and developed a passion for it, which made the wiring process fun. The few people I initially shared my work with also felt a rush of enjoyment and moving sensation from it, and stubbornly recommended that I share more and more of work until the idea crystallized that there could be a real market for it.
To what extent are your poems autobiographical?
The poems in this book are all inspired by personal real life events. However, that’s not to say this is autobiographical non-fiction. The purpose of the book is to identify and harness real-life feelings and then bring them to their apotheosis (in a fictional setting) in order to demonstrate what these emotions seem to convey, ie, their hidden language and the way they can move us to otherworldly places inside.