Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Book Review: "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur


I really didn't know what to expect when I picked up Rupi Kaur's exquisite collection of poetry and prose. Poetry is often hit or miss with me—I totally appreciate it as an art form but sometimes I just don't get it. (I'm as creative as the next person, but sometimes my brain is tired and just wants to be told what something means rather than struggle to decode it. Sorry, I'm a Neanderthal.)

Milk and Honey is about happiness and despair, hurt and joy, love and sadness, and finding the strength to overcome your struggles. It is at times erotic, poignant, empowering, harrowing, and a celebration of all of the amazing qualities of women. Divided into four chapters—the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing—each deals with a different step in relationships, both with someone else and with yourself.
most importantly love
like it's the only thing you know how
at the end of the day all this
means nothing
this page
where you're sitting
your degree
your job
the money
nothing even matters
except love and human connection
who you loved
and how deeply you loved them
how you touched the people around you
and how much you gave them
Some of the poems are accompanied by small illustrations. I'd imagine that the print version of this book would make a beautiful gift for someone; I'm not sure if I missed out on something reading it on my Kindle, because I'm not 100 percent sure if each separate page is a separate poem or if the book is just laid out strangely. (I am also not quite sure if only some of the poems have titles or if each poem has its title at the end, meaning the stanzas between titled pages represent one poem.)

Kaur is an absolutely dazzling writer. Her words evoke emotion, sexuality, femininity, anger, and hope. While perhaps some of this resonates more for women than for men, I still found this incredibly touching, incredibly moving, incredibly motivating, and at times simply breathtaking.
you might not have been my first love
but you were the love that made
all the other loves
This collection won't be for everyone. You need to be willing to put aside conventional notions of punctuation, capitalization, and the way sentences are divided. But more than that, you need to be willing to be vulnerable, to listen to Kaur's messages, and feel the feelings she is trying to convey. If you can do that, you will be richly rewarded by the beauty of Milk and Honey.

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