Book Review | The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace (and a discussion of “Tumblr” poetry)

32334098the princess
the damsel
the queen
& you. 

Amanda Lovelace explores love, loss, healing, empowerment, forgetting, and remembering in this debut collection of poems. Winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Poetry 2016, her poems have touched hearts across the world. 

Sooooooo…. I have mixed feelings about this book.

Firstly, let’s start with the fact that the poems in it are absolutely gorgeous. I sobbed like a baby whilst reading some of them because Amanda is a beautiful, raw writer. She has bared her soul in the pages of the book and left them for the readers to judge, which in itself is an incredibly brave and vulnerable thing to do.

Not only that, but she uses metaphors to disguise what she talks about, and these are relatable ones, too. Hiding? Yes, perhaps. But, in my mind, this is power at being able to talk about what you want to in your own way. Everyone has slain their own dragons, but Lovelace put it into words and printed it in a book.

So basically, this is a book that I will keep on my shelf and read when I need it, will always hug to my chest after I turn the final page because it makes me cry even thinking about how much I cried whilst reading it, but here’s the catch:

is
what
she
wrote
considered
poetry
(or not)?

-a question many have been asking.

Now, slightly disclaimer, because I have really been inspired by poetry by Rupi Kaur, and, yes, Amanda Lovelace. I love the type of poetry where you can just press ‘enter’ when you want to pack a punch with the next word, but the problem (?) that people have been seeing with Lovelace’s work is that
she
presses
enter
after
(nearly)
every word.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes this really works to affect, such as when she is discussing falling from a tower, or standing up again. But is this really “poetry”, or is it word art? And some people have questioned that it is “Tumblr poetry” – as in, if you shared it on Tumblr, it would get thousands of reblogs, and it’s what is considered “aesthetically pleasing” rather than, perhaps, getting you an A (side note: I was the only one in my class who liked Emily Bronte’s poetry. Go figure).

I have left an example of one of my favourite poems (that leaves tears in my eyes whenever I dang read it for goodness’ sake). As I was typing it out, I had to type it in one long sentence and then add the ‘enters’ (because WP is a piece of poo sometimes), and I thought that leaving some of the sentences into longer ones would have made it far more effective… but not “Tumblr poetry”. (Another thing that bugs me is the complete and utter lack of capital letters, but perhaps that is just me.)

Nowadays, there seems to be two strips of modern poetry – poetry that is, I guess, “stereotypical”, where poetry is simply evolving from past poetry; and “Tumblr”, which is like Lovelace’s. You get examples like Rupi Kaur, who fall kind of in the middle (and TBH she basically does her own thing), and I guess I would fall into the middle, too. I love the messages in Lovelace’s poetry, but sometimes I wished that they had been more conventionally written. I feel like that would’ve hit me harder than having meaningless words in a line of their own.


i
let myself
know
that my life
doesn’t
have to be over
just because
theirs are & i went
ahead
& painted
the sun
back into
my sky.

– i am allowed to live my life. 


TITLE: the princess saves herself in this one
AUTHOR: Amanda Lovelace
GENRE: Poetry
PUBLISHER//YEAR OF PUBLICATION: self published // 2016 (soon to be: Andrews McMeel Publishing // 2017)
NUMBER OF PAGES: 156
ISBN: 9781532913686
GOODREADS
PERSONAL SOURCE: Bought from Amazon
RATING: 4/5

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Book Review | The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace (and a discussion of “Tumblr” poetry)

  1. Amanda Lovelace’s poetry really touched my soul. It was at times too much for me to face the reality that Lovelace showed me through mere words.

    But I do agree that at some points I felt like it was less “poetry” and more just sentences but I figure it’s a very debatable topic XD

    On another note, Beez has tried writing a review for it in verse and we’d love it if you could check it out!
    https://ravenandbeez.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/the-princess-saves-herself-in-this-one-amanda-lovelace/

    • Yes, it really made me feel through her words! The “Tumblr poetry” is something I really love, but also find it hard to categorise! there’s a massive debate over it haha!

      Thanks for the link, I’ll definitely check out the review!

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