I hope everyone is ready to get started! Please keep in mind the trigger warnings; if a poem triggers you, you are welcome to skip it! If it gives you a moment to think and reflect, share your thoughts with us on social media with #GreatAceClub. Like last month, these discussion questions are just to get the ball rolling. You are welcome to answer all, some, or none and encouraged to share your own thoughts and questions, or pretty book art! This post collected all of the topics into one post so don’t worry if you read at whatever pace is natural for you.
Here are some questions to chew on for section I.
Section one deals with the princess, which sets up the start of the arch of the collection. Based on the title and the section names, can you see a theme becoming apparent with this collection?
-Amanda Lovelace discusses a lot of her trauma growing up in this first section. Are you able to relate to her at all? If not, do the poems in this section speak to you differently?
-Most people agree that you experience and understand your life differently at different stages. I, personally, am past my teens and twenties so come at these poems and themes at a different stage of life than someone who is still in high school or starting out on their own. How do your personal life experiences influence your perceptions of the poems? How might your perceptions have been different if you read this when you were younger?
-How do the poems in this section go along with traditional fairy tale beginnings?
-Did any of the poems stand out to you? If you’re willing to talk about it, why?
-This section dealt heavily with childhood and teenage years. Do you think that teenagers and young adults feel things more strongly? Did/do you?
-What, to you, is the difference between a princess and a damsel? Are princesses always damsels or vice versa?
-Your first love can leave a lasting impact on you. How do we see this in Amanda’s poems? Do any of them resonate with you specifically? If you’re willing, share some experiences from your own past and how they shaped you.
-Poetry frequently deals with love and heartbreak; how do Amanda’s poems continue that tradition? Do you think that poetry is a good medium to express those feelings?
-How do the poems in this section go along with being a damsel? Is love and heartbreak intrinsically linked to being a damsel?
-Does experiencing loss, whether through death or heartbreak, go along with the idea of being a damsel? Is there a way to escape either?
-What does destiny mean to you?
-There is a consistent saying that you need to experience pain to be an artist, that trauma and heartache fuel creativity. Do you believe this? Has your own background made you more or less likely to create?
-How has the theme of the poetry moved from being a princess to being a damsel? How do you think the queen will play a part?
– Amanda explores some less than positive emotions in this section. How do you feel about poetry as a means to express feelings of revenge, pettiness, and other “negative” emotions?
– How can we take so called negative emotions and use them to grow? How can we take trauma and bad life experiences and do the same? Does one need pain to be an artist or does one just need the ability to grow?
– Do you think there is a difference between first relationships and relationships later in life? Do you believe that first relationships can last and if so, what makes them do so? How do Amanda’s poems about her later relationships differ from her first ones?
– In what ways can a new relationship feel like poetry? How can a healthy relationship feel the same?
– Everyone comes into a relationship with baggage; what advice do you think is important for people to know to make relationships work? Whether it’s love or friendship, how can you tame your personal dragons? What advice can you get from Amanda’s poetry?
– How do you see Amanda’s growth into this section?
– In what ways has the theme of saving yourself progressed to the section of the queen? How are the poems queen-like?
- – Do you think your own life has had a princess-damsel-queen progression? Or would you say it’s something different? What would you title the sections of your life so far?
- – Do any of the poems specifically resonate?
We’re at the last part of the princess saves herself in this one! This section is advice for us, the readers. We can definitely see the progression of the themes Amanda has presented and see it come to a close. Let’s talk about it!
– Do you write? How does Amanda’s advice on writing as a poet resonate with you?
– There are people who do not like the style of poetry Amanda uses, which is a more modern type of poetry. What do you think poetry is?
– How is poetry used as a form of protest? As a way for unheard voices to be heard?
– Amanda references some famous women poets of the past; in what ways has poetry been a voice for women when we were often silenced before? Do you think that poetry can be a universal experience? Or is it a way for the unheard to be heard?
– Poetry exists for many different purposes. Do you think Amanda is solely speaking to us, the audience, in this section or do you think any of her advice is for her past self? What did you take from this section?
– Did any poems really stand out to you?
March is almost behind us! We finished the princess saves herself in this one; did you enjoy it? What were some of your favorite or least favorite parts? The below questions, as always, are open for you to answer as many or as few as you want and I would love to hear some of your other reflections on this book!
– What does poetry look like to you? What does poetry mean to you?
– What makes something a good poem?
– How can poetry be used to figure out your emotions? How is it a voice for the unheard or for emotions you cannot necessarily process?
– What kind of poetry format is your favorite? Are you a fan of modern poetry, or do you prefer something different? What do you think draws you to that type of poetry?
– What would you say are the central themes of the princess saves herself in this one and how does Amanda use the section headings to move that theme or those themes along?
– Were there any poems or themes that really stood out to you?
– Be honest, did you cry?
– How do you think Amanda could build on her themes in her later books?
If you haven’t already you can pick up The Princess Saves Herself In This One in ebook, paperback, or audio read by Amanda Lovelace. Or check out her other poetry books in the Women Are Some Kind of Magic series.