the witch doesn't burn in this one

the witch doesn't burn in this one, amanda lovelace

always put yourself first. sacrifice at your own discretion
— amanda lovelace

If I'm being completely honest, I was originally drawn to this book because of the cover art. It's simple, the title is intriguing, and the typeface is beautiful.  However, after skimming through, I decided to add this little poetry book to my library because it was unique - it was full of fire and fury. 

This isn't a poetry book that laments a love lost, or the emotions that follow a breakup. This is a book that take's charge of the energy and power behind womankind and celebrates the incredible ferocity of that power. 

the witch doesn't burn in this one is the kind of book I want to read to any future daughters I have - an anthem of empowerment for them to live by from womb onward. 

What I liked about it: 

  • The aesthetic. Some might argue that aesthetic doesn't matter but I think for poetry it does. I love how this book formatted and I'm not ashamed of it. 
  • The voice. Lovelace is so passionate and she voices some of the internal passions that I think run through all of womankind. The strength of her voice is so special - even when she writes about brokenness, it is framed within the power of a woman's strength. There is no weakness.
  • Based in reality. A man reading this book might think that Lovelace is exaggerating. A woman reading this book will know that there is actually a 'look' that occurs between women 'from across a crowded room' when we sense danger. That we pass information between each other about how to "tell if our drinks are spiked." 

What I didn't like about it: 

  • Limited themes. Fire, burning, ashes and matches. These themes played throughout the entire book. While I appreciate how it creates a coherent them across the whole book, I think Lovelace could have explored further outside of this context. I look forward to reading more diverse writing from her in the future. 

Favourite Quotes: 

  • "maybe i'm not the 'crazy ex-girlfriend.' maybe i'm just a person reacting rationally, to the abuse & disregard for women, that society has somehow, convinced us is completely rational. - i refuse to pretend anymore." 
  • "fight tirelessly for your sisters, & don't forget to lend a hand to, those pushed so far into the margin, of the paper they're dangling, off the edge. - there's plenty of room for all of us." 
  • "today you are the fire, & tomorrow you will be the sea, & they'll have no choice but to hear your siren song."