Am I a Bad Feminist if I Don't Like 'The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One'? | Amanda Lovelace"
I love the idea behind all of Lovelace's books. They're strong, powerful poems that are aimed towards strong powerful women. The message in all of them is wonderful which is why I am reluctant to rate this anything lower than 3 stars. I understand the important impact that books like this can have on a person. However, there is quite a lot of filler content in her books and this one is no exception.
The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One by Amanda Lovelace
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received an ARC of The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Poems with one or two words can be powerful, there's no doubt about it. However, when a book is filled with tiny clusters of words per page, these singular words can seem a little bit redundant. There is almost too little content per poem. When this happens, your eyes might start to drift onto the next page only to confuse differing poems in your mind. Or, perhaps the words become meaningless because they are just too little by themselves. Quite a lot of the poems in this book were baby poems. Often times they felt incomplete.
There are a few saving graces in the collection which I thought were beautiful. Detailed below is a piece of prose that I really enjoyed and thought fit the theme quite well. Like the title, it's ominous and highlights how powerful women can be.
the man with the witch-killing look in his eyes drinks deeply from the chipped lilac teacup, his trembling hands making it clink against the saucer as he places them back together. my stomach churns in circles as the dark liquid dribbles down his chin in lines. he eagerly slides the cup & dish to me across the old, rickety table & I waste no time turning the cup over the dish to get rid of the excess. when I turn the cup right-side up, I spot the clusters of soggy brown & black leaves that litter the bottom in various shapes & sizes. I study it for a moment & immediately look away, nervously wringing my hands in my skirts. there’s no question what the means.
“well? what does is say?” he asks.
i keep my eyes down. “the leaves say you’re going to . . . pay.”
“p-pardon?” he sputters, his eyes filling to the brim with terror.
“They say . . . you’re all going to pay,” i whisper.
– the leaves never lie
💁🏽Other Poems I Like Are On Pages:
54 (highlights some men's complete disregard for the comfort of others)
55 (points out how abuse is often romanticised)
72 (reminds me of supernatural and brings up a fair point)
74 (quite devastating)
77 (also devastating)
110 (about confidence)
111 (also about confidence)
🙅🏽 Poems I'm Not a Fan of Are On Pages:
128 (this sounds a lot like murder and kind of creates a negative connotation about women getting what they want)
143 (seems a bit stalker-ish)
144 (about how crazy ex-girlfriends are just reacting to their bad partner . . . but it's placed right next to the stalker one. not a good choice)
In conclusion, no. I don't think that I'm a bad feminist for not liking this book. Not just because feminism isn't a cult in which we all must like the same things, but also because some of the poems in this collection delve into the sketch category. However, I can understand why this might be a life changing book for some and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to read it.
Have you read this? What did you think?