Friday, 16 December 2016

Amanda Lovelace- The Princess Saves Herself in This One

So, yesterday my amazon delivery arrived, containing Amanda Lovelace's The Princess Saves herself in this one. I've been having a flick through since then and I am torn.

I begin with, I loved the dedication and the Harry Potter Reference:

'For the boy who lived.
Thank you for inspiring me to be
the girl who survived.
You have have a lightening bolt
to show for it
but my body is a
lightening storm'.

The collection features chapters entitled The Princess, The damsel, The Queen and You. However, before any of these chapters begin, two pages that introduce the book. Then, 'Once Upon A Time'.

This was absolutely beautiful. It made me wonder about which fairytales I would prefer to be in! It made life sound accidental, and people simply dreamers. There is no malice or angst here. Just peace and accidents.

The author begins with how the persona started life, 'book mad'. Slowly, themes of eating disorders emerge through repeated mentions of 'fat' and 'starved' and 'skin and bone'. We are introduced to a new character, referred to as 'you' throughout quite early on. Lovelace states that:

'you have
been the
of each
& every
one of
my nightmares'.

The Damsel and the Queen continue to use fairytale references in order to explore Lovelace's hurt, and complete anguish. Intertextual references include that of dragons, thorns and the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood.

My favourites I found in The Queen, and You:

This collection was absolutely heart breaking to read. My friend Chelsey and I spent our break between lectures, today, reading through it. We made noises of enjoyment, appreciation and total agony. We described it as 'heart breaking', 'agonising' and 'hard hitting'. We were so touched by Lovelace.

The poems towards the end get more inspiring and empowering. I felt a great sympathy for Lovelace, or the persona. For the sister she had lost, her mother and all of the parts of herself. The advice she offered in the chapter You, was wonderful and left me feeling strong, and capable. It was as if she was writing to me personally. I loved the poem regarding the English degree. I am pretty sure regarding my ideas about my future and my career. However it was nice to be reassured that

a) It was okay to be unsure, or not have a clue.
b) Other people are unsure and don't have a clue.

I compared this collection to I Wrote This For You, one of my all time favourite collections of poetry. It is just as emotional, heart-wrenching and beloved to me. The intertextual references to fairy tales only made me more emotional in my response to it.

Lovelace is releasing an updated edition next year and I cannot wait!

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