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tsundoku tsundere. also a writer and all that.

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Machi Tawara: Salad anniversary (1989, Kodansha International, Distributed in U.S. by Kodansha International/USA) 5 stars

Quiet beauty

5 stars

On the blurb on the back of this book it states, "Before Rupi Kaur and Amanda Lovelace, there was Machi Tawara", which would have put me off entirely if I had come into this book completely blind, given that both Kaur and Lovelace are, imho, sub-par enter-hitting Instapoets. (YMMV, natch.)

Tawara-sensei is an actual POET, who deals in strict metre, an ancient form, and the weaving of beautiful phrases, and her work oftentimes, for me, reflects yuugen -- a "profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe… and the sad beauty of human suffering." How she does this by telling sweet, simple tales of modern life and personal emotions, I don't know, but I'll consider myself a good poet if I ever manage to capture even one ounce of that magic.

Amanda Lovelace, ladybookmad: shine your icy crown (Paperback, 2021, Andrews McMeel Publishing) 1 star

Review of 'shine your icy crown' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

I just. I just. I mean. Insert frustrated flailing right here.

I remember reading "The Princess Saves Herself in This One" and thinking "oh god, that was really awful. But I'm sure she'll grow as a poet, right?" And then I read "The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One" and was pleasantly surprised -- there were signs that Lovelace had honed her craft and I found it reasonably enjoyable. There was still plenty of room for her to improve, but in a way, I found that sort of appealing; what's more fun than watching a poet grow from mediocre to awesome? I don't know if that's naive or simply foolish, but, y'know. I hoped.

Then I read "The Mermaid..." and each of the releases that followed, and here I am. This is the last Amanda Lovelace book I'm going to read.

Bluntly? Her schtick is old and tired and cringey. …