Monday, 4 June 2018

Book Review #101 : Milk and Honey


Book - Milk and Honey
Author - Rupi Kaur
Genre - Poetry
Publisher - Andrews McMeel Publishing
Hit the shelves on - November 4, 2014
Pages - 204


This heartfelt collection of poems hit the shelves November of 2014. I saw milk and honey in the local bookwalah shop and decided to embrace my poetic side and purchase it. Needless to say, I was baffled with what I found folded into the pages. I was expecting an inspirational slightly tacky read much like how I viewed poetry prior to this. What I found was vulnerability, startling bluntness, and a pure and raw story laced into the pages of Rupi Kaur's poetry.

Kaur breaks her book into four parts; the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. The poems open in a bit of a dark aura. The hurting depicts the author’s experiences with sexual assault and the struggles of overcoming family issues. This section is a bit chilling.

The next section, the loving, is a more uplifting read. The poems are sweet and idealistic. These are the ones that couples want to read to remind themselves of why they are still together.

The breaking returned us to a darker place in Kaur’s life. Any girl that has ever endured a break up after a long term relationship could find a relatable poem in this section. While these poems were sad, they were also very realistic and relatable.

The last section of milk and honey accomplished exactly what I think the author was aiming for. These poems empowered women to embrace themselves and to value who they are regardless of the turmoil they have endured. I would recommend this section to anyone going through a break up or just yearning for some comfort.

Overall, I really enjoyed this compilation of poems and would totally recommend to anyone who is looking to heal from a bad experience in life or breakup.

Btw - Upon publication, ‘milk and honey’ sold over 1.5 million copies, defying expectations of modern poetry’s popularity. In an age favouring easily digested thriller novels and celebrity biographies far above verse, this collection of poetry is certainly the exception to the rule. Perhaps this is due to Kaur undercutting the impersonality of a modernist aesthetic with accessible, simplistic language. Kaur does not subscribe to the belief that poetry must be difficult to be meaningful, championing a direct and inclusive register that unites her personal experiences with the reader. Combining a first person perspective with the repeated second person pronoun ‘you’, Kaur further bridges the gap between her poetry and her audience. She forges a link that causes the reader to imagine themselves not only as author, but as muse. Pointing beyond the page at ‘you’, Kaur rejects the division of the reader from the writer, assimilating her own experiences, memories, and subjects with her audience.

VERDICT - ‘milk and honey’, is a ‘modern classic’, worthy to be read out loud, written in texts to loved ones, and learnt by heart. The reminder to appreciate yourself and to embrace emotion is timeless.

The book teaches you that life is filled with terrible and heartbreaking moments but within those moments you can find great things. Great things that you might have missed if you were not looking. There is so much meaning and emotion behind every word, and it is even relatable. Several of the poems deal with situations that many face today.

RATING – 5/5

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