Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Review | Milk and Honey- Rupi Kaur


I'm not usually a massive reader of poetry if it's not for study, but Milk and Honey has made such a splash in the book world recently I couldn't help but pick it up!

For a start it's a beautiful book, and god am I a sucker for a beautiful book! It's put together really well too, with the poems divided into four sections: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing.  Most of the poems are accompanied by the most beautiful drawings too- the kind that make me want to pick up a pen. The actual poems are formatted very nicely too. If anyone reading this was tumblr-obsessed in their early teens like me you'll know what I mean when I describe them as 'tumblr-y'- they don't have capital letters at all and look very organic and unedited. I really like this, I think it makes the poems seem more genuine, as if they're formed directly from the thoughts of Kaur without too much input from anyone else.

All of the poems are very short, I don't think many are longer than about half a page with most only being a few lines. I found them really easy to dip in and out of because of this, I didn't get distracted or bored by reading pages and pages of the same poem.
Because of this, I don't think Kaur's work comes under the umbrella of 'conventional' poetry, if poetry can be conventional. It doesn't rhyme, it's not really in stanzas and it doesn't have some hidden theme. I found this really refreshing having been used to meticulously analysing long passages of poetry for school and uni, so reading short poems that convey the raw emotions of the poet without being hidden by metaphor was so good.


The personal nature of Kaur's poems are what really drew me to the collection. My favourite poems, and indeed literature in general are the pieces that I can relate to the most, and almost every poem in Milk and Honey related to something that I had felt, something that had happened in my life, or something that happened to a friend while still being very personal to Kaur herself. It's a book that I'm going to come back to again and again when I'm feeling sad or weak.
I really like the feminist agenda that the poems follow too. I was expecting the 'the breaking' to follow the kind of heartbreak and feeling sorry for you yourself narrative that breakups usually follow, but actually it was empowering and made me feel strong which was really good.
I think my only criticism with Milk and Honey is that some of the poems are a little too simple, as in only two lines about something that could be seen a cliché. Despite this, I think the inclusion of simpler poems made me think that I could also write poetry. It was inspiring and made me want to pick up a pen.


Overall I would definite recommend Milk and Honey, especially to women of all ages, and especially to people who have recently gone through a breakup or need to feel more confident in themselves. Rupi Kaur voices what we are feeling in such and eloquent way, packing the collection full of truths and making me want to mark every page with a post-it. It's safe to say Milk and Honey will be travelling back up to Scotland with me!

E x

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