Jaz’s Blog: Junior experiments with emotion-packed poetry on self-made blog

November 12, 2021 — by Hannah Lee

“Your hand on the edge of my jaw… An arm against the small of my back… Legs tangled together… Like the roots of a tree.”

These lines are found in the first stanza of “Roots,” a poem junior Jasmine Ispasoiu published in October on her self-produced blog website.

From what started as a love for writing and spoken word (performance-based poetry that focuses on storytelling and experimentation with other art forms) in eighth grade, Ispasoiu now updates “Jaz’s Blog” almost weekly. She started writing poetry in August.

On it, readers can find an array of her poems, many of them expressing traumatic or deeply personal experiences. 

Each piece Ispasoiu writes is usually inspired by subjects or metaphors she comes up with in her daily life. She then turns that metaphor or topic into poetry. Ispasoiu said she started posting her poetry on her blog because she felt that people could relate to her writing. 

“I felt like a lot of people might be going through similar experiences and might take comfort in knowing someone else is going through these things or someone has lived through these things and are able to talk about it,” she said.

Junior Alexandria Pak has been an avid reader of Ispasoiu’s blog since the blog went public in August. She appreciates Ispasoiu’s perspective as a local student who shares Pak’s own struggles.

“I think her blog is great representation for people who deal with the topics she talks about because you don’t see this stuff in mainstream media,” she said. “I relate to it a lot so reading her poetry makes me feel more secure in my own thoughts and my own person.”

Ispasoiu prefers to type her poetry and spends little time on each piece — an hour being the longest she’s ever really spent on a first draft. 

She goes through her own editing process. After she writes a first draft, she starts by rereading her work multiple times, and as she goes over each stanza she either edits it or deletes it entirely. She mostly edits as she goes, and does one last final edit on her final draft before uploading it to her blog. 

Ispasoiu attempts to upload on her blog consistently even throughout the school year, so every Friday she will write a new piece. 

“Every time she uploads a piece, I get so happy seeing her grow as a poet,” Pak said. “It’s also so cathartic as a reader to hear about her deeper experiences many are so afraid to share.”

Although she said that she doesn’t specialize in any genre of poetry, Ispasoiu finds writing poems as a form of therapeutic self-expression.

“I feel like poetry is an art form; specifically a form of self-expression,” she said. “You can do anything with it because it’s such a malleable, broad and diverse art form.”

Outside of writing poetry, Ispasoiu enjoys reading and baking and is interested in social justice.

As for what goes on her blog, Ispasoiu said she’s not very selective. If she likes a piece enough for others to see, she uploads it. Whenever she updates her blog, she promotes it on her Instagram story for readers to view, and it’s also linked in her Instagram bio, @fatherjasmine.

Though Ispasoiu said her experiences with writing poetry have been mostly positive, she said she faces hardships when people say things like “you better be nice to Jasmine or you’ll end up on her blog.” 

“It’s not true at all and it’s honestly kind of funny,” Ispasoiu said. “Honestly I don’t care what anyone says about my poetry because you could talk so much smack about me, and at the end of the day I’ll still have so much more to achieve and focus my time on.”

As for specific inspirations, Ispasoiu said she especially loved Ocean Vuong. She particularly enjoys the book “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. 

“I read the book like once a month because it reminds me of my mom and it feels like a hug,” she said.

Although Ispasoiu said she doesn’t have any notable accomplishments as a poet in the short time she has been writing, she said she prefers to keep it mostly recreational for the time being. She’s also considering applying to the Kenyon Review, a selective literary magazine. Though she doesn’t think she’ll get selected, she plans to enter her poetry and see where it goes for fun.

Though Ispasoiu said she is unsure of what her future plans are with her blog or her poetry, she wants to try slam poetry (poetry spoken before a live audience and a panel of judges, often loud and lively) in the future , possibly by going to a youth poet group after COVID-19 dies down.

“It’s all very cathartic,” Ispasoiu said. “I feel like the things I write about are kind of hard to talk about with other people  because they may not understand or may be going through it themselves, so just to have that kind of personal outlet is really awesome.”

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