The Princess Saves Herself In This One - Amanda Lovelace (Review)

For my 18th birthday my friend Amber gave me a collection of modern poetry, which made me feel every emotion I have ever experienced and was very exciting for a poetry lover to read. A lot of the poems made me recall some of the best and less good moments in my life, but all of those little parts form a part of me and this book serves as a useful tool to remember that. This is a very special gift which is definitely worth sharing.

When I saw the front and back cover of the book I was given I was very excited. The words are very encouraging and make you feel incredibly special (who doesn’t like to think they are a princess, not just on your birthday but at any point your eyes come into contact with the book itself). 

Interestingly enough, for someone who has been learning how to seek help but not emotionally overburden those close to me the fact that “the princess saves herself” encouraged me to consider dealing with the more minor annoyances by myself and only ask for help when it’s really necessary. So far, it has been helpful to me but like everything it is a learning curve which requires commitment and practice. The back cover of the book, as you can see in the photo below is just as fantastic, the girl’s ability to “turn into” anyone also serves as an incredibly strong and empowering message - you can be anything and anyone you would like to be and are responsible for moulding yourself. It is a message worth remembering on a day when you feel powerless, alone and demotivated because believing in yourself is key to everything you do as you are definitely the one stable figure in your life who will never leave or disappear without notice.

Now onto the poems, with physically fragmented form, because a lot of them became very memorable and quite special, despite being absolutely irrelevant to my own life. Having opened a poem and having seen a crossed out word at the start it started to normalise the fairy tale I was expecting to encounter. It suddenly made the writing in the collection of poems feel raw and honest - something I could identify as and find myself in. The normalisation of the fairy tale narrative I have encountered when I was little encouraged me to do both, replay the magical fairy tales in my mind and tell myself that anyone could be Belle, or Aurora or any princess trapped in her beautiful metaphorical tower. The poem about siblings is an example of a work which has absolutely no relevance to my own life and therefore did not feel deeply personal, however the physical fragmentation of “sisters”, “saviours” and strangers” alongside the alliteration made me consider this combination of devices a few times; despite there being a link there is a sense of physical separation felt by the reader, conveying the message of the poem incredibly well. The washing of  “away” on the page itself, the uncertainty experienced by the poet when plucking petals and the breakdown caused by "trust" and "fall" made the writing, which already felt genuine become even more real and tangible in the world I live in. We all experience very pleasant and uncomfortable moments in our lives, but I guess seeing some of it as a compilation of beautiful, published words makes our experiences normal and shared by all.



Despite admiring some of the poetry based on its physical form, I have also been able to find poems which have reminded me of this year and how much has changed over time. It has been a year of incredible encounters, finding new friends and experiencing genuine feelings for the first time ( despite having been labelled as cold for a very long time). Going through some of the poems I have read line by line, encouraged me to recall all of the wonderful moments of the past year and come to terms with a lot of the feelings I have either struggled to admit or openly display. Seeing someone go through a similar experience on paper and guide you through yours, line by line, word by word made me normalise how I have felt and calm down. On the other hand, whilst growing over this exciting year I have had some realisations which I came to eventually admit. The truth is that you can never really please everyone, and sometimes you will fall out with people because you have different views or see your future differently, but having said that it should not be a reason for you to blame yourself for having the “wrong” view of the world or constantly causing conflict. You have the power to direct and change your life and are the person in control.

This collection of poems is a perfect overview of the experiences we all have in life ( some are less drastic for some people and for others they might be more severe) - a mixture of positives and negatives, both of which teach us something. Aside from the many learning points I took away from reading all of the poems in the mentioned collection there is one important realisation I have reached - the only person who is responsible for how your life turns out and how happy you are is you. Of course there might be circumstances which change patterns of events, but you are the one individual you can rely on - trust yourself and keep moving forward with self belief.