If you’ve spent time on Tumblr you’ve probably come across one or dozen poetical quotes, often accompanied by a sepia toned picture of a lonely girl by a window, wilted flowers, two naked hands on a crumpled sheet. Quotes that burn at the exact right moment, short poems consisted of one or two sentences, posted online mere moments after forming the thought, poetry in it’s barest form, if you will. This, essentially, is Tumblr poetry.
Most of these poems stay on and will have to do with a couple of thousand re-blogs (if you’re lucky). Others, very lucky ones, find their way into the publishing world and become a collection of poetry. More and more poems today remind me of these short Tumblr-quotes. There’s a lot of empowering, female friendship and feminism, but also heartache, depression and death. I’ve read The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace, and it’s all of the above.
from the spines
of her favorite
stuffs wads of words
into her mouth,
praying it’s true
that you become
what you eat
while she sucks
the flavor of ink from
her blackened fingertips.
The storyline is as follows: the young, depressed girl with an eating disorder and abusive mother who grows up, meets troublesome men who hurt her and then, finally, finds her own strength, partly through literature. Well, sort of. Told in four parts – the princess, the damsel, the queen och you, Lovelace explores themes such as death, girlhood and love. It’s self pity and self empowering alternately.
rose from the ashes
her dragon lovers
made of her
– how’s that for happily ever after?
The poems aren’t long by any means. They mostly consist of nice enough quotes broken into one word sentences that look cute on paper – or a blog post on Tumblr -, but really are just that: an okay sentence. Some of these poems are better than others (like the first one I posted), but most of them are clichéfilled eye-roll moments that are supposed to move me but just fall pathetically and plainly.
I’m not exactly a poetry person, but I still don’t think it’s enough to press enter after every word and call that a poem. It could work if the poem itself wasn’t so painfully obvious most of the time. Unfortunately the feminist themes don’t make up for the genericness of the poems either. Just because you include trans peoples rights and rape culture it doesn’t make the product good. Moreover it feels like an attempt to make a weak product better by inclusion. Also, it feels like the book contradicts itself: it talks about the princess needing nobody else to live a happy life, but the whole last part of the book is dedicated to romantic, monogamous love.
But, I do believe this collection of poems can speak to a younger generation dealing with the same sort of issues as the writer is touching on, and find solace in her words. If anyone knows of a poetry collection with similar themes, but better writing, tell me!
i hope you
treat her better
– you can have my forgiveness, but you
i find it
so hard to
i don’t know
– legitimate concerns of a mortal.
Hopefully not of this sort. Sorry.