Time is movement. It is a passage of space and momentum and feeling and importance. Chronologically speaking, this is most vital conversion in human existence (in my opinion), because we can learn SO MUCH from history. That is why, to diagnose Through, I chose my watch.
I wear my watch everyday (on the inside, as it should be), and I looked at it as I was reading this poetry by Herd. I thought about the word ‘suspend’ that Herd uses, extensively. To temporarily suspend time and sequence is such a graceful interruption. Similar to old shows like Saved By The Bell when Zach Morris can pause the scene, and speak to us: this suspension is vital to the plot, and audience’s interpretation. I have a stopwatch on my watch, and I can, too, suspend time for my own time-keeping abilities and desires. But, this idea of suspension, specifically in this book and title, is ironic.
To me, this book is about ‘moving through’ things. Of course there are deeper meanings within the smaller poems, but broadly if I could summarize ALL the poems into one word — it would be on very similar to the word through (thank God that’s the title…). Perhaps a word like movement, fluid, exist — any one that suggests momentum, but a slow one. This book encompasses many themes, and all have to do with change. Whether that be within politics, people, the environment, or personal goals, this poetry is about opening doors, and walking through them. The most important movement in this book is time: the change in politics, speakers, and important faces and voices. Or just the time throughout the day, and the changing of that concept, is imperative as well. From the images of birds to sunsets, it is chronological statement of day in and day out, and of political state of affairs.
My watch represents this fluidity, or lack thereof in terms of suspension of time. This is directly related to the political environment, the faces involved, and the personal journey between doors. The concept of moving through something, is based on time. The old saying that is often said to those grieving is: “time heals all wounds” — now, we will not get into this cliche, but the idea of time healing wounds isn’t what I care about. What I am interested in is the idea of eventually, time resolving hurt. It is funny though, how history repeats itself. Maybe we are wearing the cast, just to soon break the same bone again…
Without entering any political climate territory, reading Through with this lens of time has helped me to understand the book as one segment, continuously. Reading the book in this way helped me to see the movement of the pieces, together and fluidly, yet separate and suspended, as well.
I suggest reading this book of poems perhaps on a timer, or a metronome, and use this to feel the way the rhythm feels to time, and the way the concepts and content do as well.