Rupi Kaur is a young artist and poet, originally from India, but now living in Canada. She uses drawing, painting, writing and other forms of art to express herself and the issues and problems she believes in.
Her first poetry book Milk and Honey came out in 2014 and has won hundreds of hearts, many saying that it is the best poetry book they have ever read.
The collection of poems is divided in four parts each designated for different area, it engages with themes of femininity, love, loss, trauma, and healing and you can see all that in her poems.
I’ve read a fair share of poetry in my life, most of it in my native language, which is my way of saying that I like poetry although I do not read it much. This, however, in my opinion, wasn’t poetry.
So the form… In this book there are mostly poems and some small literary works which sometimes were accompanied by illustrations. Poetry is usually like a code, it hides the real meaning in words that have nothing to do with those meanings and allows the reader to find his own meaning, even if it is completely different from the one author intended. Every single sign, space, punctuation has a meaning and thought behind it and the reader is allowed to translate it in to his individual language.
Poems in this book on the other hand didn’t have any of that. They were just sentences scattered in many lines, with nothing in between, with no hidden meanings and place for interpretation. Sometimes it even seemed like the author pressed ‘enter’ to spite the reader or to just make the text look good, meaning that in middle of two words that obviously are a pair, there’s an ‘enter’. There were no hidden meanings and things to understand, because everything was just plain.
liked some of the
ideas i didn’t like
of the poems
because those are
this is the
book they have
ever read but they
have read just this one
By the way, if you didn’t understand, the copyrights to those two above are totally mine, so feel free to make and share tumblr posts as much as you want.
Alright, the content. I am sure that, if the chapters/parts in this book would have been placed in different order, I might have liked the book better, because in general the ending always impacts opinion more than the beginning (that’s just logic, why am I even explaining this?) and in this case and in my opinion – ending was bad.
I do not like pointless feminism in general and found this to be of that kind, because I think there are a lot bigger issues to tackle than shaving vs not shaving. (Really? How does that even sound in a review that a poetry book speaks about women shaving?) And I am sure that I got the shaving message with the first poem, there was no need for two more. Why not write about the problems that actually are deep and disturbing? Does it mean that, if you at last are allowed to not shave, no one will want to marry you, so your parent’s won’t be able to have an arranged marriage (and you win and solve the universe and meaning of life? It’s not 42 anymore?).
Nevertheless, there were many truthful and deep things said in this book and some that I liked and enjoyed.
And some things that I have pushed in the darkest and furthest corners of my memories – never to be waken up. But although you might think: “Ha! Now we are getting somewhere!” That is not the case. Me and the author obviously don’t speak the same language, because although she tackled things that are hurtful, they didn’t have any impact on me. And neither did the poems about the issues I actually care about, because those lacked meaning to me. They seemed a bit like shallow things that people who haven’t been through much would say, but I also get that different people have different perception of things, so for others it might explain everything…
I am surprised that so many people say that this is the best poetry book they have ever read. I am kind of convinced that they haven’t read any others, because there was very little to none poetism (google says this is not a word, what is the word for poetic expressions and writing?) in here.
And to all those people who say ‘I generally don’t read poetry, but loved this one’, I have the answer – this isn’t poetry, that’s why they liked it.
So at last, here’s my try at poetry, am I a poet now? I would like to put a poem by Rupi Kaur next to mine, so you could check out and tell me, how I suck, but I am not sure how the copyrights on that work, so let’s just say that you should pick up her poem about how making gold out of your pain is the purest thing ever or how you shouldn’t shave, because that is obviously the problem number one in this world. And compare it to mine – the one I wrote in under a minute inspired by Kevin Hart. You can put that one in your tumblr posts too.
i want to hurt you
because i see you happy
and i am not the reason
I do feel bad for bashing the girl, she is young and she has put out her heart and soul in this, I am not much older or wiser, but if you sell yourself (meaning your emotion in poems) I guess you have to be ready that people will not like what they see.
This book received two stars from me on my goodreads page and I would recommend it to all the people (girls, feminists) who do not like poetry generally and feel comfortable with rape and sexual references in their poems.