Milk and Honey consists of a collection of poems by Rupi Kaur. A bit of a hype at the moment and a New York Times Bestseller. But is it really that amazing like everyone says it is?
I have to admit; I finished this book in one afternoon. But that wasn’t necessarily because I didn’t want to stop reading but more because the design of the book invites you to do so. It’s divided into four pieces: the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. The main character, even though never mentioned, describes how a rough start in love in your upbringing seeps through in all relations you’ll start after. It speaks about how you love, how you will be inevitably broken and how you learn to heal again. At every stage there’s a bittersweet undertone to be felt.
The poems in every chapter fit the vibe you would expect in the chapter about (for example) ‘hurting’, but don’t expect a real storyline in the book. However, there is some chronology there in the fact that the structure is quite logical. Your (supposed to be) safe start at home, or the lack of it, forms you and influences how you live your life after that time. How you will make mistakes and how/if you will overcome them.
Would I recommend it?
Throughout the whole book but especially in the final half of the book, you’ll experience a feminist approach which sees female empowerment as its most important task. It’s a real poetry book, but not of the profound kind, in my opinion. I experienced Milk and Honey as a collection of nice reminders to help me to look at myself with compassion. I wouldn’t recommend this book if you’re already a seasoned poetry reader. It doesn’t contain enough depth for you. But I would recommend Milk and Honey for those who would like to read some low-threshold poetry on love and/or female empowerment.
Emotion? Didn’t laugh or cry. This has a lot to do with the lack of a real story or depth in the book.
Identification? Everyone can recognize him or herself here to a certain degree I think. The book teaches you to be milder to yourself.
Striking: The layout is very simplistic.
About Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur (1992) has her roots in India but migrated with her parents to Canada at an early age. She’s a writer, poet and illustrator. Rupi discovered her passion for creativity and poetry early on. Fun fact: she doesn’t use capital letters in her work and except from the period, there’s no other punctuation to be found, just like in the Gurmukhi script. With this she wants to honour her cultural background. Milk and Honey (2014) is her first poetry book. Now also The Sun and Her Flowers (2017) is available.
A few of my favourite poems from Milk and Honey:
let us end
in it too”
no books have
the spine to
– women of color
“how you love yourself is
how you teach others
to love you”