Interview with Poet/Author Jonas Hyde and Review of “Melpomene’s Tears”

30 Jul

Today I have the pleasure of bringing to you an interview with the remarkable poet and author, Jonas Hyde. He has produced an amazing collection of epic poetry, gathered together in a compilation called “Melpomene’s Tears”.

A brief description:
“Melpomene’s Tears” is a collection of romantic tragedy poems by Jonas Hyde. The collection includes the popular epic tragedies, “Lament for Lady Beth” and “Seraph’s Song: The Epic Fable of Sister Sera”. It also includes the complete “Moment with a Muse” and “Twilight’s Star” anthologies. In addition, the collection is then filled out by a series of other poems that will truly resonate with anyone who has felt heartache, pain, or loss. While most of us try to forget such emotions, understanding it on the intimate level presented by Jonas Hyde enables us to deal with our own anguish. As a bonus, each poem is briefly introduced by Hyde, giving additional insight into each work by the author himself. This read will truly change your life.

I was so pleased to be able to speak with him today.

What was your favorite poem in “Melpomene’s Tears”?

Probably “Portrait of You”, but don’t hold me to that.  I also really love “Seraph’s Song: The Epic Fable of Sister Sera” and “Lament for Lady Beth”. The poems are all so different, and each came from a specific moment in my life, it is difficult to pick one over another.

What was the hardest poem to write?

“O’ Brother” was the most difficult for me of any poem I’ve ever written.  It isn’t in “Melpomene’s Tears”, but can be found on the website.  The most difficult of the collection though was “Lament for Lady Beth” from a technical standpoint and “The Nightingale’s Song” from an emotional standpoint.

What do you wish was different about “Melpomene’s Tears”?

I’m pleased with it as a whole.  Some minor wording changes I would like in certain poems, but that is a result of my own growth.  However, seeing the rawness of it also happens to be something I like.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe shaped most everything about me.  Dante’s Divine Comedy and Poe’s poetry especially.  I also enjoy reading Robert Greene’s books on strategy, power, and seduction in my spare time.

What sparked the idea for this collection of epic poetry? 

Well, I have most of my work available on my website, http://jonashyde.com – However, there is so much material on the site it can be overwhelming for a new reader so I decided to put together a collection.  As I was doing so, the theme became apparent fairly quickly.  Almost all of my poetry deals with pain of some kind.  It is something everyone feels and is a necessity so we can experience polar emotions.  I think that is why people can connect with the poems – because they can feel them.  So, I wanted to put together something that would touch the reader while best representing my work.

How personal is your writing?

It could not be any more personal.  Every poem, whether an epic verse or quick stream has its roots in some event of my life.  If people are reading poetry, they want to feel it.  And if I can entertain them while making them feel… even better.

What is your writing routine? 

Well, first Life steps in and kicks me in the teeth.  Then I deal with it and recover.  That gives birth to inspiration.  From there, I try and fit a great story around what I want to say, so people ‘want’ to read it.  Once all that is figured out, I just let the words go.  Sometimes I’ll go a week without writing anything, other times I do a few poems a day.  I know… it has to be the worst advice for an aspiring writer/poet to get, but it has served me well.

Which comes first? The character’s story or the theme for the poem?

The theme has always come first.  Characters are meaningless unless they have something about them (a theme in this case) that will give them breath.  I want the reader to feel the pain my characters go through, because then they can understand the pain we’ve all been through.  The characters are just a conduit between each of us.

How did you choose the genre you write in? 

I think it chose me.  I was heavily influenced by Dante and Poe at a very young age.  I didn’t understand any of it when I first read it, but I could feel it.  As I matured, I was able to get something new out of their work every time.  Then of course I followed the old adage, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  I tried to imitate those two influences.  While to this day my work should not even be mentioned in the same breath as theirs, I believe it can now stand on its own.

How did you come up with the title?

Well, I wanted something that would invoke the emotion of the poems inside.  Melpomene became the muse of tragedy, and being a collection of romantic tragedies, I thought it was a great match.  The idea of even the muse of tragedy weeping at the emotion of the poems was too powerful an image to pass up.  So, Melpomene’s Tears came to be.

What project are you working on now?

Since I write when inspiration hits, I tend to jump between multiple projects at once.  It is impossible to do an 86 page poem such as Insula de Verum in one sitting.  So, I have a 12-part epic poem coming out soon titled Pendragon, which chronicles all of King Arthur’s lore from Uther to Avalon.  I also have the next case in the Sir Alistair Helling series I write (think Sherlock Holmes told through a poetic voice).  Then there is the direct follow up to “Melpomene’s Tears” being put together and a psychological horror novella titled 7 Days in the works.  It is a far departure from my poetry, but hopefully people will find value in it.

Are there certain themes you like to address in your writing?

I like raw emotion and a great story.  If I can combine the two effectively, it is worth a new poem.  Sometimes I can get there in 10 lines… sometimes it takes 100 pages.  I let each poem decide for itself.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Never dilute your voice.  We are all individuals and life experience shapes us.  People want to read true voices and real emotion.  If you dilute it, the reader will be able to tell.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? 

The toughest thing has been to hear that poetry cannot be appreciated, marketed, or respected in today’s market.  I at least wanted to be judged on the quality (or lack of quality) of my work.  But to be told you will fail before a single word is even read is tough to overcome.  The greatest compliment is when a reader personally contacts me to tell me how much my work has touched them.  How much it makes them feel, cry, or look at their own pains.  We all hurt… we’ve all been hurt, and it sucks.  At least we can get some silver lining out of it.  That’s why it’s the best compliment, because it’s not just kind words for me… it’s a shared experience between myself and the reader.  I love that.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why? 

Dante Alighieri, just so I could get some insight into his thoughts.  Edgar Allan Poe, because his complete works really shaped me.  My brother, because I never got to say goodbye.

I want to give a special thanks to Mr. Hyde for being here today and sharing his thoughts with such candor and eloquence. It was wonderful having him.

In addition to a wonderful interview, he has graciously gifted us with an excerpt from “Melpomene’s Tears”. Enjoy!

Excerpt:

Portrait of You
Jonas Hyde

Last night I finished my portrait of you,
raven-haired beauty, my heart burns anew,
which stirred this likeness gazing back at me,
born of chalk and love, even oils pure,
this visage I made, captures beauty sure,
of both skin and soul, as all will agree.

It tortures me tho’ that you may never see,
how truly I feel, how my heart shan’t flee,
ever any day, neither then nor now,
so I penned these words with but quill and ink,
mixed with feelings true, a kiss and a wink,
to you my love, my dear, forever I vow.

Time may pass, but love that I wont allow,
the colors may fade, but words I endow,
with a timeless verve, matching beauty so,
your radiant light, your glow from within,
perfection you own, far deeper than skin,
quells my own darkness, this surely I know.

From Heaven above to shadows below,
never again shall you fear or cry tears of woe,
at your side I’ll lie, eve through morning dew,
whispering these words as I hold you tight,
never letting go, but until that night,
I’ll forever keep, my portrait of you.

On to the review!!

I just want to start off by saying that I love epic poetry. It is a lost art in today’s climate, and I was so pleased to find that someone of Jonas Hyde’s caliber is producing such quality work.

That being said, it is easy to place him among the ranks of Tennyson, Longfellow, and Shelley. What Mr. Hyde does is take this art form and elevate it to new heights for modern seekers of beauty in the written word.

Each poem is carefully crafted, not just in structure, but in the imagery itself. Epic poetry speaks to the heart of the soul, and Jonas Hyde’s work is no exception. The imagery is lush and beautiful, the words drip from the page, seeped in the nostalgia of past romantic eras. This collection elicits an emotional response, sometimes quiet and reflective, often visceral and striking. The beauty of the human condition is recreated in words and images, and the soul of the poet is laid bare.

While tackling themes reminiscent of Arthurian legend, it also speaks to the modern-day everyman. These words invite you to introspection, to extrapolate feeling and discover where it lives within your own life. Every poem takes you on a journey, an emotional path designed to be walked, and Mr. Hyde is with you every step of the way.

My personal favorites in this collection are “Longing” and “The Tower”.

The Good: Sweeping themes and lush images, yet written so clearly to be appreciated by today’s standards. You will find something wonderful about each poem.

The Bad: I couldn’t find fault with anything, and I’m terribly picky. I suppose the worst part was coming to the end and realizing there was no more to be read.

Overall: I give “Melpomene’s Tears” 5 out of 5 stars, all of them gold.

Bio:
For years, Jonas Hyde has been enticing readers with his classical-styled narrative poetry and episodic fiction. While thematically spanning many genres from romantic tragedies to psychological thrillers, the common thread between all his works is the intense imagery and raw emotion given life by every word. His latest work, Melpomene’s Tears, is a collection of some of his most popular poems with brief introductions by the author himself. It can be found online at Amazon.com or at Hyde’s website, www.jonashyde.com Always looking to engage with his readers, Hyde can also be reached jonashyde [at] gmail [dot] com.
Connect with Jonas Hyde:
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7 Responses to “Interview with Poet/Author Jonas Hyde and Review of “Melpomene’s Tears””

  1. Wo3lf July 30, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    This has been one of the more beautiful interviews I’ve read in a while. I say beautiful because it took me back to a time when the power of poetry was still recognised and respected and above all, cherished. Jonas, I think you’re very talented. I have read Lament for Lady Beth and The Bard’s Sword. There is an old soul element to your voice which I haven’t seen in a long while. I will read more of your work as I’m inclined towards sentimentality generally and your work possess it in both the choice of words you use and the message you convey and because I have no choice really.

    I wish you all the best for the future and may today’s market not at all be the market everybody thinks it is. Although, it’s true we are more cynical and wary now, it is only because we protect ourselves more fiercely due to a variety of historical factors. But, there will always be a need for poetry for the soul will always require nourishment.

    Thank you.

    Like

    • Jonas Hyde (@jonas_hyde) July 30, 2012 at 11:22 am #

      I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to stop by and comment. I am glad you find value in the works and look forward to your continued thoughts.

      Like

  2. tarawood21 July 30, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview! I was so pleased to have the opportunity to interview Jonas! Thank you for leaving such a glowing comment.

    Like

  3. writermirandastork July 30, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Fantastic interview and review! It was brilliant reading a little more on how Mr Hyde’s writing process works, and a little more on how he is inspired to write his poetry. And the poem put here on your blog is beautiful, as I found all of the poems in ‘Melpomene’s Tears’ as well.

    I agree, it can be hard for a poet to be seen as a viable form of literature to sell these days, but I have no doubt that Mr Hyde will go from strength to strength in his writing! Thank you to both Jonas Hyde and yourself,Tara, for giving us such an entertaining and informative post. I really enjoyed it 😀

    Like

  4. Tessa Stokes July 30, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    This is a great interview, the second I have read from Jonas Hyde and still really interesting, I like best the way he says, ‘never dilute your voice’ that’s such cool advice. 🙂

    Like

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