I first came across Rupi Kaur as I suppose a lot of people do – on Instagram, but I never really heard about her properly until I got to university. We all had to bring poetry books to a sem
inar – our favourite poetry books. A friend of mine brought in Rupi Kaur’s ‘Milk and Honey’. A week later as I was browsing Waterstones I spotted it and thought I’d take a look. The front cover – the matte black with the white lettering and white line drawings of bees intrigued me. Ten minutes later I was still standing there looking through the poems and admiring the book.
Her poems are like word fragments, small pieces of art that are surprisingly meaningful for only one or two sentences in a lot of cases. The book ‘Milk and Honey’ follows stages of a relationship, and whilst that is the key ‘plot line’ the book also follows the development of the individual – from being afraid of her own voice, to appreciating herself as a powerful individual. Kaur also shows the relationship between herself and her culture by only writing in lowercase and only using the full stop (no other punctuation) mirroring the Gurmukhi script.
Some of the subject matter is challenging. Some poems I really see myself in, or can empathise with, and others I struggled to connect with. I really liked the fact though that with ‘Milk and Honey’ you can just dip in and out. Sometimes you can sit and read, and enjoy each poem, and other times look at the illustrations, or flick through until something catches your eye.
Another thing that intrigued me about Kaur’s poetry is the fact that this book was a number one New York Times Bestseller. It is so unusual now for poetry to be bought and picked up and read. I can see why people read it, and I hope that reading her poetry inspires people to read other poetry. There are so many beautiful poems out there, I’d love to know what your favourite poem is!
Have a wonderful week,