Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
About the Author
Rupi Kaur is a bestselling author and illustrator of two collections of poetry. Her artistic expression began at the age of 5 when her mother handed her a paintbrush and told her to draw her heart out. While studying at the university of Waterloo, Rupi self published her first collection ‘Milk and Honey’ in 2014. Milk and Honey became an international phenomenon that’s been translated Into 30 languages and sold over 2.5 million copies. Rupi’s long awaited second collection ‘The Sun and her Flowers was published in 2017.
I had not read poetry before this so when I was recommended this book, I thought I’d check it out. I was a bit hesitant to buy a book which I knew I could finish in less than an hour but I went ahead. It has now become a gem in my collection. In the book, the poetry is divided into 4 halves – the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. She explores various themes like love, loss, trauma, migration and feminism. There will be some pieces that will not resonate but I find that completely all right because every 4 lines in this is deeply personal. You know she’s put her heart in every line she’s written. She describes the perfect date in one line on page 53 – nothing is safer than the sound of you reading out loud to me. Another line for women of colour – our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry.
Another powerful verse is on page 164 –
You tell me
I am not like most girls
And learn to kiss me with you eyes closed
Something about the phrase – something about
How I have to be unlike the women
I call sisters in order to be wanted
Makes me want to spit your tongue out
Like I am supposed to be proud you picked me
As if I should be relieved you think I am better than them
And another at 165 – The next time he points out the hair on your legs is growing back remind that boy your body is not his home, he is a guest. Warn him to never overstep his welcome again.
You don’t need to be a lover of poetry to appreciate her way with words. It is simple, yet so powerful and that in itself, transfers to you. You feel invincible and I found myself lying down and feeling better about myself than I had in years. I felt like I really hadn’t appreciated myself or done anything to thank my being for all that I had accomplished. I had moved to a new city all by myself, had put my broken heart in a drawer, wiped out all my past failings to start a new life with new people and I had found bittersweet happiness. Yes, the past still came back once in a while to haunt and taunt but the grace to endure has been learnt albeit the hard way. After you read this book, I heaved a small sigh of relief and smiled – because you realise – you are not alone in this world.