Interview with Eduard Schmidt-Zorner

posted by Joseph Lukpata on Aug 21 2020, 6:15 pm

Why did you start writing poetry?

At a very early stage. My father had a lot of books and encouraged me to read. It was after the war, no playgrounds only ruins around, no toys, no entertainment. To dive into poetry separated me from the unpleasant surrounding.

You are widely published in reputable magazines. How did you feel the first time you had a poem published?

A joy. It was as if a new door opened. It encouraged me, because as non-native speaker I had not a lot of confidence to write poems or short stories in a language which is not my mother tongue.

Whose poetry has inspired your style?

Günter Grass, Michel Houellebecq, Rafael Alberti

How do your poems develop? Could you please guide us through the stages of writing a poem?

I start the 80% of my poems in German language, my mother tongue, or better to say I put all my thoughts to paper and bring them into English, cut here and there, delete, condense. It is like sculpturing, to shape a stone, to make a sculture from clay.

Is there an image that seems to reoccur throughout your poems?

Nature, solitude.

Do you prefer to keep it simple or you like it when your readers dig out the meaning? What is your take on poetry and obscurity?

My intention behind the poem is visible, I use a lot of pictures, try to pull the reader into a landscape, a mood.

There is this talk about a good or a bad poem. What do you think makes a poem good or bad? Are there some criteria for judging poetry?

I find a poem should have something to say, to communicate, if it rhymes, fine, there should be a certain rhythm.

What are some of your favourite literary magazines?

I like the all, it is a big effort, it gives people a lot, it forms an invisible community.


Eduard Schmidt-Zorner is a translator and writer of poetry, haibun, haiku and short stories.
He writes in four languages: English, French, Spanish and German and holds workshops on Japanese and Chinese style poetry and prose.
Member of four writer groups in Ireland and lives in County Kerry, Ireland, for more than 25 years and is a proud Irish citizen, born in Germany.
Published in over 100 anthologies, literary journals and broadsheets in USA, UK, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, Italy, Bangladesh, India, France, Mauritius, Nigeria and Canada.
Writes also under his pen name: Eadbhard McGowan