About Books #38: The Princess Saves Herself in This One

Talk about being late to the party! The second part to the Women Are Some Kind of Magic-series is coming out in a little bit more than a week. (I know, I can’t wait) And while I’ve been seeing individual poems of the collection on Instagram, and Twitter, and anywhere else really? I’d never gotten round to just getting The Princess Saves Herself in This One. Well, I finally did – and let me tell you: I was not disappointed!

The book

According to Goodreads, The Princess Saves Herself in This One is “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.”

The thing about poetry – unless you’re going hard-core postmodernism – is that it’s always very personal. Also, that it focusses on form (which, btw, does not imply rhyming! Take it from a literature-major 🙂 ) But that’s not the point here. No, the point is that when writing about something incredibly personal, it can be really easy to venture into the unrelatable. However, Amanda Lovelace tells stories that are completely her own. And somehow, it could be any of our stories.

Seriously!

The opinion

There’s one thing I don’t like when people discuss poetry: the idea that there’s a set idea of what poetry should be. A lot of comments I saw for this one in particular is that because it uses free verse (so no set amount of syllables in one line, no rhyme, etc) it’s not real poetry. To that I say: Big Pooha. Just look at the entirety of impressionism, expressionism, dadaïsm or even the majority of postmodernism!

Anyways, all that to say: anyone who says this wasn’t poetry, needs to get their definition of poetry right.

There’s a certain something that I like in poetry – when it’s relatable, when it manages to address any type of situation, but in such a way that it’s actually relatable. That’s what I loved so much about Clementine von Radics’ Mouthful of Forevers. That is absolutely something that depends on personal taste.

It’s the kind of narration in poetry-form that is linked together through ideas, not so much through plot. But at the same time, there is some sort of growth that is visible not only in the word choices and thematics, but also in the way the collection is built up: four sections that see the main “character”, the narrator grown into their own. The way certain subjects are then repeated in a similar, but always sufficiently diverging way in later parts just goes to show exactly what growth you have just witnessed.

The rating: 5/5

As I was reading The Princess Saves Herself in This One (Amazon*, Goodreads), I found myself highlighting – which is something I don’t ever usually do – and telling people around me to read this or that poem. Both of those things are incredibly good signs. There’s something about being taken away through poetry, about being allowed to give something of an own interpretation to what you’re reading, that is so vastly different to anything fiction can offer. Amanda Lovelace knows exactly how to walk that line between her own story and forcing an interpretation. In doing so, she took me along on a journey that – from trigger warning to conclusion – I cannot wait to delve back into. As soon as I get The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One (Amazon*, Goodreads), of course.

-Saar