Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Review: 'break your glass slippers' by amanda lovelace

Not all poetry works for everyone. Wordsworth often meaves me clod, whereas Emily Bronte's poems speak to an inner fire. I read amanda lovelace's the mermaid's voice returns in this one last year and realized I adored her poetry. So when I saw break your glass slippers I knew I wanted another taste of lovelave's writing. Thanks to Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Fairy tales have always been half story, half tool. We keep retelling fairy tales, keeping mining them for new and different lessons, ways of re-envisioning our own lives. I have really enjoyed the way amanda lovelace has used the fairy tale genre and its tropes and characters to aim for a certain sense of empowerment. Occasionally these readings may feel anachronistic or misguided, but often I find that they not only give me a new perspective of myself, but also of the original fairy tale itself. Take Angela Carter's The Company of Wolves. No scared Little Red Riding Hood, but a confident woman amongst wolves. lovelace doesn't reinterpret the fairy tales, but rather imagines the protagonist of her poems as being in conversation with them. 

This collection of poems is a back and forth between a Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother. As Cinderella moves through life, from celebration to disappointment, joy to pain, her Fairy Godmother is there to remind her of some of the deeper truths of life, different origins of power, new ways of living. Whereas some of lovelace's previous poetry collections have had tragic over- and undertones there is a more joyous tone to break your glass slippers. Some of the poems struck very close to home in a way I didn't expect them to. The message of self-acceptance and self-love is central to the poems, but the collection is preceded by potential trigger warnings. In and of itself, the title fo the collection is like an imperative. Break your glass slippers, break the molds and the expectations you have, and see what wonders can be found after.

I am a major fan of capitalizing words. It's the German in me, I think, to want to see every noun capitalized. amanda lovelace is the only one for who I will set that love of capitalizing aside. There is a sense of democracy to writing in lowercase. The first word does not rule the sentence. Part of what attracts me to lovelace's poetry is that it is so different from the poetry I have studied. There's no meter or rhyme to it, and not every poem works as well as the best. And yet, for me, there is a magic to lovelace's poetry, to the way the individual poems interact with each other and serve her overarching theme.  If you're looking for a Fairy Godmother in your own life, give lovelace's a try!

I give this poetry collection...
4 Universes.

I adored break your glass slippers. There is something very warm and inviting about lovelace's poetry that fits perfectly with my love for fairy tales and the fracturing and reshaping of fairy tales.

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