|Robb's Rambling Reviews||
As soon as I read the first page of Amanda Lovelace’s work, I knew I was in for a treat and, without a doubt, Lovelace did not disappoint. Few books come with a warning label (although many should). Lovelace’s warning, however has nothing to do with the quality of her work, but rather fleshes out the framework for the princess saves herself in this one, her anthology of free verse poems. One of the most remarkable aspects of the work is Lovelace’s use of style and language. Within the nearly two hundred poems which make up the work, she employs such expressive and lyrical prose the reader is transported not to a magical world of damsels in distress, but rather to her he own world, one of pain, abuse, self-doubt, and resurrection.
Lovelace’s talent for figurative language is showcased throughout as well. True to the title of her work, Lovelace refers metaphorically to herself as damsel early in her life, someone who needed saving from the horrors of her childhood. As Lovelace continues to relate the battles she faced throughout her life, her remarkable talent for shaping language showcases just how impressive a word-crafter she is. I dare anyone not to be angered by the poetic demons which surround her, nearly breaking her, physically and metaphorically, and cheer as she conquers those demons, hopefully once and for all.
Yet another powerful element in Lovelace’s writing is her ability to manipulate tone and mood with seamless ease. Whether we are witness to the trauma of child abuse she endured as a young child, or the torture of living with an alcoholic parent, or the agony of love’s first betrayal, Lovelace’s writing grabs the reader by the heart, drags them into the trenches, and never lets them go. Thank goodness Lovelace is able to do the same for the positive and blissful times of her life as well. The emotional and psychological scars suffered provide the ideas for her poetry, but Lovelace provides the lyrics by which she tells her life’s story.
At first glance, Lovelace’s collection of poetry looks like a collection of short, disjointed verses which have little to do with each other. Although each poem could stand on its own, they become stronger and more solid as they are stacked one upon the next.
I very rarely pick up a book of poetry of my own accord. Give me a good old fashioned science fiction or fantasy novel any day. Embarrassingly enough, I was drawn to this work, not by genre, but by the title. I was intrigued and wanted to see if the work was as female empowering as it sounded, and I’m happy to say it more than met my expectations. Having been raised in a family with many nurturing, strong willed, resilient women, I take exception when women are treated as inferiors simply due to their gender. Because of this, I am constantly looking for books with strong female leads and role models. Not only do enjoy reading them, but I look forward to passing them on to my nieces, who are also strong, resilient, and worldly. Just as it pains me to bear witness to the battles Lovelace has faced in her short life, I celebrate that she has been able to overcome them, and become a stronger, more resolute and spirited individual. I can’t wait for my nieces to read this. I know they’ll love it as much as I did!
Lovelace’s remarkable ability to shape simple, everyday language into something far from everyday makes her a unique storyteller. Couple this with her life experiences, and her ability to turn her pain and hurt into poetic art, and you have something you don’t find everyday. Lovelace, like her book’s individual poems, can stand alone and have impact. However by stacking them one upon the next, as she has her life experiences, she creates a solid work with a firm foundation that any princess would be proud to call home. Without a doubt a brilliant and exceptional collection.
Lovelace, A. (2017). the princess saves herself in this one. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Universal.