“Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we’re off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales.”
A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.
I read this book on my own free time and was not required to write a review. Therefore, all comments and opinions are entirely my own.
he is even
-fiction has nothing on you”The Princess Saves Herself in This One, Amanda Lovelace
I have many mixed emotions about this collection of poetry. I recently took a college class on understanding literature and for one third of the course, I dove deep into the realm of poetry. One of the biggest takeaways that I had from that class was: yes, there are many poems that follow a consistent pattern, but poetry itself is a reflection of the artist meant to be felt and interpreted by the reader, and it doesn’t necessarily have to look like poetry. With that in mind, and having previously read the works of Robert Frost, Emily Dickerson, and others, I picked up The Princess Saves Herself in This One as my first widely popular, modern day collection of poetry, hoping to see, well, how our culture has handled poetry.
I have to say, this is not what I expected to encounter.
To begin, there were few entries that even struck me as poetic. And I’m by no means a poetry expert, but I do appreciate poems and most of the time I’m able to walk away from reading one with at least something. An emotion, a thought, a yearning to memorize, something. And while there were a select few poems in this book that did successfully draw up my emotions as I sat on the beach reading them, many of these pages reminded me more of a one-sentence tweet than a poem; I read it, it was pretty, and then nothing more. I likely would have retweeted them if I had been browsing my Twitter feed, but I really didn’t feel like I was reading poetry. So I just felt like they lacked the depth that I wanted to feel and understand, especially with the topics that the author addressed.
But on the other hand, I really liked the story-telling aspect of the collection. Each poem progresses the author’s story of her life and reveals her emotions, her thoughts, her struggles, and especially, her triumphs. Considering that each page is only one, short sentence (most of the time), I’m really impressed at how she was able to tell her story in so few words. It’s beautiful, in a broken and restored way. And on the topic of beauty, the layout of the book is so visually appealing, with the spacing of the words and how the words form images. It is a very aesthetic book without a doubt. The pages would be beautiful framed and hung on a wall.
The last thing that I want to mention is the content. There are a few “f bombs” dropped in a few of the poems, which irritates me more in poetry than in other literature, because poetry is about the art of words and specifically choosing words to convey meaning, style, and tone. Yet these curse words seem so carelessly placed, as if there wasn’t another word in the entire English language that could have better described what the poet wanted to say. So, that was something else that knocked my opinion of the book down. Also, just to include a trigger warning to potential readers and those that follow me, there is mention of rape, abuse (mental and physical), sexual encounters (not explicit), high feminism (support that anyone who identifies as a woman is one), and other topics that may turn some readers away.
So overall, while the book is visually beautiful and some of the poems are emotionally jarring in their wording, the majority of the book felt a little like my Twitter feed. But, while I wasn’t impressed with The Princess Saves Herself in This One as a whole, the few poems that I did like have definitely captured my interest for future poetry works by this author. I give it two out of five stars and if I find another book by hers at one of my favorite bookstores, I just might pick it up. On the bright side, it made a wonderful beach read!