Title: milk and honey by rupi kaur
Genre: Poetry – Contemporary
Rating: 5/5 stars
Poetry is a relatively new genre for me for personal reading, I have read multiple works at School and University and I always liked it but I never took any of the readings further than an academic level. So in a school or university sense we look at poetry to basically ‘tear it down’ we take each line and we look for the hidden meaning, the rhyme, the structure, the rhythm etc and I never engaged with it on a more personal level to actually just enjoy it. I decided I wanted to expand my reading habits so I picked up some contemporary poetry one being Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur because I had seen this a-lot over Instagram and I was very intrigued…
I was so surprised as to how much I LOVED milk and honey and how much I interacted with it on a personal level. I found that as I read through certain poems I wanted to say ‘YES, SHE GETS ME’ because that’s how I truly felt and on a number of poems I felt that Rupi Kaur has managed to put down on paper so many of the thoughts and feelings I have had in the past or do have now and it all just made sense. Reading this poetry book was almost like a journey and it is split up into 4 sections which follows; The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking and The Healing therefore it’s easy to feel like you are going on a journey through a relationship but it’s also a personal journey where you remember past experiences.
Each of the poems within this book are all written in lower case with little to no punctuation and this is done very intentionally. It makes each of the poems very free-flowing, almost like a stream of consciousness which Rupi herself needed to get out onto paper. It feels less edited but more raw, real and honest.
One thing which I loved about this book which you can see within the two examples I have posted above is a-lot of the poems include little illustrations which I think adds another element to the reading of the poem. These illustrations are simple pen drawings which also adds to the whole simplistic feel of this poetry book. It’s black and white, which for me represents the black and white nature of our feelings and the raw honesty in this book. Again it feels unedited and natural.
Another thing I want to mention which surprised me was the lessons that this poetry book holds and the empowerment that I felt after reading it. Not only does this book make you feel less alone in past mistakes or mistakes in relationships with trust and losing yourself, you find everyone makes them and has these feelings but the book also made me think about what I want. I felt really empowered in myself and it boosted my feelings of acceptance and wanting to love myself for me. One poem which really spoke to me in this sense was:
you are in the habit
on people to
make up for what you lack
who tricked you
was meant to complete you
when the most they can do is complement
– Rupi Kaur
This particular poem really spoke to me because its something that I had felt, finding someone who completes you is a message that was sort of integrated into me whether it was from education or the media. Naturally we are told our life goes in this way; we are born, we go to school, we get a job and we get married and have a family of our own and it’s almost as like you aren’t complete until you find your match but that’s not true you are enough within your self. Personally I have always compared myself to others and everyone around me and I have felt like I have not been enough and this just gave me a great sense of warmth in teaching me that I am. I don’t need to compare myself.
Overall I adored milk and honey, I poured myself into the words of Rupi Kaur and I have continuously looked back into them since. Without a doubt one of my favourite reads this year and I can see why she has sold half a million copies so far (probably more now).
I just want to end this review on a little note –
Don’t fear poetry. Don’t fear this book.
I think poetry can be a little bit daunting especially to those who haven’t had much experience with poetry or perhaps don’t really like it but this poetry book is very different from classical work and it’s very much easier to digest. Milk and Honey is definitely a simple and beautiful book which is modern and you can understand the messages and the feelings behind the poems and what drove Rupi Kaur to write them. I myself have found myself almost at a sense of drowning in classical poetry because some work can be very deep and the old English language can definitely throw me off. So my message to you is experiment and give it a go because it does offer a whole new experience.
Be sure to check out Rupi Kaur’s instagram as she does post some of her poetry on their so you can get some samples of her work to see if it is for you before buying it if you wanted to.
Let me know if you’ve read Milk and Honey or if you think you will pick it up after this! I would also love to hear any suggestions you have for other poetry books