From Amanda Lovelace, a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration.
In England, there’s this vile substance called Marmite. It’s thick and it’s pungent…and some people actually have the stomach to smear it in their sandwiches. The advertising slogan for this poison, however, is “You either love it or hate it” and I very much feel that this is something that can be applied to micropoetry, which is essentially poetry that is short enough to be shared on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, or via SMS.
I was reading through reviews for books such as the princess saves herself in this one and Rupi Kaur’s milk & honey and amidst all the positive four and five star reviews, I saw the odd comment about how they weren’t ‘real’ poetry, simply because some of the poems were a mere one or two lines. I fully appreciate that everyone has their own views on these matters and are entitled to these views…but what is ‘real’ poetry? A brief online search throws up many definitions for the term ‘poetry’, but I’m going to refer to the first one that popped up on my screen: “literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm.” If we were to judge a poem on its ‘realness’ by this definition, then the works of Amanda Lovelace and Rupi Kaur most definitely fall under the umbrella term that is ‘poetry’. Poetry, for me, is about expressing yourself and touching the hearts and minds of others through your words. the princess saves herself in this one 100% achieves this and if we refer back to the Marmite analogy, I most definitely ‘love it’.
the princess saves herself in this one is divided into four sections; I. the princess, II. the damsel, III. the queen and IV. you. I. the princess in particular was, at times, difficult to read. It details the trauma that defines too many people’s childhoods, but by the time I reached the third section, I saw that even though life wasn’t perfect, it was better. Amanda is quite honest in saying that not that everything that breaks you makes you stronger, but the fact that things improve somewhat is enough. It’s raw, brutally honest poetry. It doesn’t dilly dally about with overly flowery language. It simply gets straight to the heart of the matter and sometimes that is exactly what we, readers and writers alike, need.
The inclusion of the fourth and final section, IV. you, turns a great anthology into a fantastic anthology. Amanda talks directly to us through this section, turning her pain and experience into something that can help others. There are certain poems that I actually sticky noted (it’s a verb now, okay?) because I knew I’d be turning back to them at certain points. I used to have a really unhealthy attitude towards my body as a teenager and even though I love my current body for the most part, jiggly bits and all, I still find the odd negative thought creeping into my head when I look in the mirror. The next time that happens, it’ll be this piece I turn to:
if you ever
& feel the desire
to tell yourself
then i think
it’s about time
the princess saves herself in this one, Amanda Lovelace, page 175.
Excited to read Amanda’s next collection, the witch doesn’t burn in this one!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Song: Two Steps From Hell’s The fire in her eyes
This book is available on Amazon in both paperback and e-reader format.