I saw The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace all over the place before I actually picked it up to give it a read. And honestly, I’d wanted to read it for a while. Everyone seemed to love it. For me, however, my appreciation of this book really began and ended with the title. The thing to recognize and understand about Lovelace’s work is the fact that the story she’s telling is good while the poetry itself is not. There were maybe two poems in the entire thing that I found myself slightly impressed with enough to like, but the rest–while the message and the story was still relatable, interesting, and grabbing–fell flat.
I enjoyed reading The Princess Saves Herself in this One, but for the most part it reads more like the sort of poetry a young girl would write before she really understood what poetry is and how to write it. It’s the poetry that you start with when you’re first trying it out, not the poetry that you decide to publish later. The language doesn’t flow and it rarely feels like it has any sort of melody or rhythm.
There’s potential, but it needed to be rewritten.
The Princess Saves Herself in this One makes the mistake of not understanding what constitutes as a poem. And ultimately I think this is something that I’ve noticed in a lot of circumstances where poetry is concerned lately. I know for a fact that I’ve even made the mistake before. And the problem ultimately arrives in the fact that so many of us never seem to “get” poetry while we’re learning about it in school. It took me a significant amount of time to even develop the still somewhat paltry understanding that I currently have now.
For me, it was later, when I fell prey to the at times beautiful poetic renditions on blogs (like tumblr) that I really found myself interested in poetry in the first place. And I didn’t understand what it was or how it worked back then. The concept of where to break a line was completely foreign to me. And when we learn poetry from others who learned poetry from others but never came to understand metric and flow, we end up with works like this. And I’m sorry, but just randomly hitting the enter button whenever possible while writing something does not mean that poetry is what’s being written.