I usually don’t read poetry, but when I saw milk and honey by Rupi Kaur at the bookstore, a book that everyone has seen via Instagram and Tumblr, I decided to purchase it and see what all the fuss was about.
This might not deem me a good reader of poetry, but I got through the book within a day. The poems were short and sweet (sometimes), simply stating the Kaur’s feelings on paper, alongside minimalistic sketches by the poet. The book itself is divided into four sections: “the hurting,” “the loving,” “the breaking,” and “the healing.”
Earlier this school year, I was saw the book on the bedside table of my dorm’s RA. I asked her if it was any good and she said, “I only read it when I’m sad.” After reading the poetry book, I could understand why she would. Kaur lays out the highs and lows of her life on the pages and many of the things she describes in her poems, young women can relate to.
In “the hurting”, Kaur wrote about sexual assault, family struggles and things a young girl might face while growing up. In my opinion, it was the saddest one out of the four chapter and not uplifting in the slightest, which made it all more raw and vulnerable. My favorite from this section goes as follows:
“She was a rose
In the hands of those
Who had no intention
Of keeping her”
The next section, “the loving”, is more uplifting, but the reader can tell it will take a turn for the worse due to the title of the next chapter. This section reminded me of my first love and how it made me feel, so this was the chapter I probably related to the most. This section I believe is the sweetest of them all and the “honey”, so to speak. Out of all of the sections, the poems from this chapter are the ones I would most likely want to post on social media, due to how idealistic they are.
“You look like you smell of
Honey and no pain
Let me have a taste of that”
“The breaking” was returns the reader to a depressing side of the novel as it Kaur writes about the breaking up with her long-term relationship. I could relate to this chapter as well, after I dealt with a nasty breakup. Luckily, though, I got over it, and so did Kaur.
“You mustn’t have to
Make them want you
They must want you themselves”
The last section of Kaur’s book of poems, “the healing,” is probably the most inspirational and empowering. It tells women to embrace themselves, their femininity and heritage, and to love themselves always before loving another. This chapter reminds women that we are stronger than we know, to respect ourselves, and not worry about what the boys think.
“You must enter a relationship
Before anyone else”
Overall, I thought this book of poems was a good read and I would recommend it to anyone who might have gone through a rough break up.
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