Sunday, 10 October 2021

John Elizabeth Stintzi : part two

Has your consideration of poetry changed since you began?

It has shifted a few times, I think. Early on, as noted previously, it was a lot more self-hating and melodramatic, and in college (alongside continuing to be pretty hopeless romantic, but a bit more chill about it) my poetry shifted into pretty much writing—for lack of a better word—fictional poems. These included poems where the speaker simply wasn’t me (but may not have been hugely clear it wasn’t) to poems which were about absurd and more narratively fictional situations. One example of the latter I remember was a poem called “Lovesong for My Giantess,” which was about a very small person falling in love with a literal giantess in their microbiology lab in college. I suppose in that middle period I was most in touch with trying to be funny as well, or at the very least starting with a funny premise and trying to be completely serious, as I have found even what I consider my most serious work can make people laugh. As I was heading toward grad school, things began to get a little more solely lyrical/personal again, which I think because I started writing a lot more fiction, which tended to suck up a lot of ideas like that of the Giantess. These days, I tend to use poetry more as a lyrical space, in part because I have so many other venues for fictional work where I feel like those ideas can do better. Maybe one day I will return to that middle-space, though, reviving work like “Lovesong for My Giantess” or “The King of Antarctica’s Open Mic.”

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