Saturday, October 27, 2018

Poetry Corner: The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace

Warning 1:

this is not a fairy witch tale. ~ Opening of The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One

The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic #2) by Amanda Lovelace
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2018
Poetry; 208 pgs
Source: E-Copy provided by Publisher via NetGalley

Sometimes the title is enough to make me want to read a book, and it was in this case. When I first saw mention of this collection of poetry, I knew I would read it. I even ran out and bought a copy of the first book in the poet's Women Are Some Kind of Magic series, The Princess Saves Herself In This One. That one is on my TBR stack, which I will be reading and sharing with you at a later date.

The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One is not about witches, not exactly. It is about women. It is about how women are oppressed, marginalized, and judged--and about their strength and resilience.   This collection is full of emotion. Rage, but not guilt. No shame. Empowerment and ownership of who we are. I had to remind myself it was one voice, one poet, writing the words. When I read the words out loud and in my head, they were the voice of many.

While historically more women accused of witchcraft were hanged than burned at the stake, the theme of burning witches is ingrained in our culture. Throughout this collection, Lovelace uses that imagery to make a powerful statement--through matches and flame and ash.

I loved the homages throughout to other books or characters. It was something that called out to the reader in me.

Here just a sampling of the poems in the collection that spoke to me:

they scratched it
out of the history books.

but on all the
great innovations

you will find
scorch marks

in the shape of
a woman's 


do not forget
we need to be
the history books

- women are libraries about to burst. [pg 38]

a corset
around us,

the strings
& pulled

as if
a new 

until we
cut them

pull out

we will
never discover
who we
 truly are.

- unlearn this normalized self-hatred. [pg 88]


have to be
this twisted 

let us
until it grows
into sisterhood.

we'll sprinkle
lavender seeds
into our
old wounds
until we're finally

h e a l e d.

-  your sisters are not your enemies. [pg 117]


your body
is made up
of mostly

your body
is made up
of mostly 

wherever you go,
you leave behind
puddles of words in your wake.

collect the
integral pieces
of yourself
call the
words back.

you deserve
to be whole again.

- the sign you've been waiting for II. [pg 156]


you are
the fire
& tomorrow
you will be
the sea

& they'll
have no choice
but to hear your siren song.

- amanda lovelace [pg 185]

What do you think? Do any of these poems speak to you? Have you read any poetry lately?

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  1. I don't read a lot of poetry, but this collection really does speak to me. It makes me think not just about historically how women have been oppressed, but also about things that are happening right now. Me Too, the Women's March, etc. It sounds like a powerful and relevant read.

    1. Suzanne - It is very much tied to events happening in the here and now with roots in the past. I hope you do give this one a try.

  2. I look at this book every time I go to the store, but I haven’t picked it up yet. Thank you for reviewing poetry! It doesn’t get enough love in the blogosphere.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. AJ - I am not going to get another poetry review in this year probably, but hopefully will be able to do more of it this coming year. I do enjoy reading it, and look forward to sharing some of what I read with you.

  3. You picked some wonderful poems! The title of that book grabs me too.

  4. Great poems! I really like Amanda Lovelace. (And that's thanks to you and an earlier post you wrote about her earlier poems.)

  5. I cannot remember the last time I read poetry. This sounds like a really well done collection.

    1. Carole - It's a very timely collection. I look forward to reading more by Amanda Lovelace.

  6. You sealed it for me. I have to read this one.

    1. Andi - You must read it. I think you will really like it.

  7. Oh wow, this sounds so good! I love to discover new poetry and I think I'd really enjoy this one.

    1. Iliana - I hope to discover more new poetry this coming year if I can. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

  8. I'm impressed! These poems give some timely examples of independence!

    1. Jenclair - Yes, they do, don't they? The poet was motivated by current events, and it is hard not to see it in many of the poems.


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