Our Shared Shelf discussion

1551 views
Jul/Aug 18 - Milk & Honey > Post Your Reviews - Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Jo, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Jo (jo_9) | 373 comments Mod
Have you read Milk and Honey yet? if so, please post your reviews below - we would love to know what you thought of it! :)


message 2: by Anne Elisabeth (new)

Anne Elisabeth   (anneelisabeth) | 90 comments The poems hit you straight in the gut.
They are raw, to the point and really beautiful.

It almost hurts physically to read parts of the book, but the healing at the end makes it all better.
I loved to read the book, and I will be reading it again now.


message 3: by Felicite Reads (new)

Felicite Reads (felicite_reads) | 2 comments The poems on these pages are full of raw and honest emotion. I want to buy my own copy so I can make notes on the parts I liked best because some of these poems made me shake, made me cry, made me realize that I'm not the only one.

Poetry is meant to make the reader feel. Rupi Kaur's "Milk and Honey" certainly accomplishes that and more.


message 4: by Amber (new)

Amber | 2 comments Thank you for recommending this book! Rupi Kaur hits you in the guy and the heart with her words, and parts of this book were hard for me to read. And yet, she empowers and inspires you at the end.
I was amazed by the rawness and authenticity of her work. It takes courage to share the most vulnerable parts of yourself, and she did it in such a relatable way. Major respect and appreciation for Rupi Lauren and her poetry.


message 5: by Ragini (new)

Ragini  (theunreadshelfies) | 12 comments She just states the Mundanes,
and writes
like this.
Doesn't maketh
her a poet in my eyes.


message 6: by Lucy (new)

Lucy | 39 comments The delightful thing about these poems is that they go straight to the heart, to the brain and can leave you shocked. You do not need to spend time analysing ambiguity for a deeper meaning, the meaning is there on face value.

This poetry was hard-hitting, raw, powerful, honest, full of emotion and meaning. The writing was engaging and heart-aching, covering topics of femininity, absent parents, violence, love, loss and abuse. It deals with female sexuality and pleasure, the writing erotic at times, Kaur also declares her love for female body hair... both of these topics which are usually rather taboo and topics which women still carry shame about, Rupi Kaur brings empowerment to them, to the female body.

Each of the sections in the book bring forward different types of love, and the pain, and growth and healing from each.

My copy of the book is covered in post-its, and my favourite parts have been underlined and reread. I'll definitely be picking up this book of poems again to revisit some of my favourites.


message 7: by Mattie (new)

Mattie (maitreyeemayhem) | 26 comments The beginning and parts of this book were difficult for me to read. Not because I wasn't really used to reading poetry but because of content. She talks about rape and abuse in a simple style of writing. I couldn't imagine what she has gone through but part of me could relate to her about not feeling loved or welcomed. This book shocked me because I didn't know what to expect but I could relate to what she was writing to an extent.

I liked how she could connect to the reader. The drawings of this book were cute but also made the story make more sense. I now see why this was a bestseller for the NY Times. I liked her ideas on feminism and understanding that our bodies and our minds are our own. They can't be misused or owned by other people.


message 8: by Katriann (new)

Katriann (annelisreadingroom) | 13 comments I don't usually read that much poetry so I was positively surprised by this book. I really enjoyed reading Milk and Honey and I appreciate how honestly Rupi Kaur talks about difficult topics such as rape and abuse. It takes strength and courage to share traumatic experiences, and I'm sure there are many women who can relate to Kaur's poems.

I think this book is a great poetry book for both avid poetry readers and the readers who usually avoid poetry. The poems are accessible and easy to understand, which I think will appeal to people who usually find poems hard to decipher.


message 9: by Ilham (new)

Ilham Alam (ilhamalam) | 3 comments I prefer literary fiction to poetry but after having read through some of the poems here, I have to say this: this must be required reading for young women and also young men alike. If we are to create a more just society where there is equality and mutual respect between the genders, then we also need to teach men to respect women, to teach them the parameters of consensual sex, to show to them that men and women come with their own strengths and weaknesses, not just physical strength.

And women, myself included (I am South Asian so it’s a more patriarchal society than the West), were always taught not to speak up when I would be facing sexual harassment just walking down the street, as I could get attacked or invite unwanted attention. I was blamed for a particularly bad sexual harassment when I was in university and returning home one night from my part-time job, all because I had put in blonde highlights into my very black hair! By my own mother too, no less, the one who eschewed our country’s social conventions and taught me to stand up for myself (so ovjcously this was contradictory and confusing).

Sad to say, I don’t know of one woman among my friends who hasn’t been sexually harassed and/or receiving very unwanted attention and/or has not been in an abusive relationship. We are taught that this is our lot in life as women: we get to wear the cute clothes and makeup and to look sexy for men, but we also have to tolerate sexual harassment, abuse and rape.

Needless to say, the poems here made for very gritty and powerful reading, uncomfortable and maddening definitely, as I could relate it back to my own and many of my friend’s experiences.


message 10: by Gabby (last edited Jul 11, 2018 01:07PM) (new)

Gabby Rockhill (sacrificerogue) | 1 comments They are short, easily digestible poems without the hassle of trying to decipher each individual stanza - an exercise that turned many people away from poetry during our public education.

But their short length doesn't mean they are lacking in depth and emotion - quite the contrary. Some of them are so honest that if you're not prepared for it, it can leave you feeling uncomfortable at best. I felt a powerful resonance with many of the poems.

My only complaint is that some poems felt a little too short, like they didn't fully capture the emotion. They leave you feeling like there was more to the story than the author shared. But this complaint is only really a complaint if you look at the poems individually, when it is better to view the whole collection together.

I quite enjoyed Milk & Honey. (Not sure "enjoyed" is the correct word to use, considering the subject matters of sexual abuse, lack of parents, violence, etc) It's an easy read but full of intense emotion. It's a story of pain and the healing journey that follows. I really liked that it ended on a hopeful note, especially since these topics are often ignored or ridiculed, leaving one to feel hopeless.


message 11: by Ghada (new)

Ghada (unicornreader) I actually read this poetry collection months ago and I keep visiting it back again because it is so damn wonderful. I've never read a poetry collection that really speaks my mind as much as Milk and Honey, and I've had the same experience with "The Sun and Her Flowers". What I liked most is the message that girls own their own sexuality and we are sexual beings too, men aren't the only ones with a sex drive. Also, Kaur has done an amazing job with discussing things that are shyed away from such as rape and periods. To begin with, Kaur comes from a conservative community (like mine) so I understand how people view the mere discussion of our bodies and our organs as "Disgusting" I remember my mom telling me when I was 10 years old to never ever discuss my period in front of anyone of my brothers in fear that they would be disgusted...and then to see Rupi kaur empower the vagina for what it is, a part that bleeds yet survives, really uplifted me. And the parts about rape did upset me because we live in a cruel world but it felt good to know that there are so many people around the world who understand my feeling and to know that there is a future ahead of me despite the past.


message 12: by Annah (new)

Annah (annahlouu) | 1 comments I’ve never been a super big poetry fan. I never understood it or was able to break it down the way others could. And what’s with cutting a line off in the middle of a sentence??? Anyway, poetry just wasn’t for me. But then I bought milk and honey by Rupi Kaur. And I love love love it. It’s so good and she has a way of making her emotions yours as you read each poem. I’m not typically a crier but while reading I cried several times. I feel like I could feel what she was feeling as she was writing.


message 13: by Anna (last edited Jul 13, 2018 02:37PM) (new)

Anna | 38 comments I usually binge on books, but I tried to read Kaur's poetry at a slower pace, and twice, to extract as much as possible from it.

My immediate impression was honest and raw, and with a simplicity to it. I get why Kaur's poetry is so popular. It's very approachable, there is no search for a deeper meaning or 'code', everything is there to read in plain sight. I think the poems would have meant more to me, when I was younger. They are filled with a kind of emotion I recognize from my teenage self; very dramatic and all-consuming emotions. The adult version of me prefer more subtlety.

I find it interesting that several of you can relate to the poems, due to being raised in a conservative environment. I was never raised to see the female body (menstruation, body hair etc) as shameful, but reading the poems gives me a greater understanding of the struggles many women face.

Kaur deals with difficult topics (sexual abuse, shame, abusice or submissive parents, self-esteem) and what I like about the book is that she ends it with a message of hope and empowerment.


message 14: by Introvertigo (new)

Introvertigo | 3 comments I love how the reader goes through a transformation process with the author. You feel the hurt, and deep powerlessness in the beginning, and by the end she is thanking you, personally, for accompanying her throughout the journey. The first part of the collection was dark, and needed. So many people need to look those poems in the eye and see the hurt that so many women feel. As you move through the book, you see strength rise. You witness new definitions of love. Most importantly, in my opinion, you see an incredible transition into self love. I enjoyed the journey, and the healing at the end was worth the suffering in the beginning.

My fave:

I am water
Soft enough to offer life
Tough enough to drown it away


message 15: by Sascha (new)

Sascha (smileylymie) | 14 comments Kaur’s wholehearted first book "Milk & Honey",is the poetry collection I feel every woman needs on her nightstand or coffee table. Accompanied by her own beautifully simple sketches, the honest poems read like the everyday, collective experiences of today’s modern woman. She experiences love, loss, pain and healing in different chapters of her life. Sometimes she feels as though she has shattered in a million pieces but eventually, she finds strength after picking up the pieces and ultimately, surviving. Reading the book, is like getting the hug you need on a rainy day, the catharsis you crave after a tragedy, and the understanding you desire, when no one understands" ~ This "classic" will remain a favorite of mine, always


message 16: by Jade Bookworm (last edited Jul 15, 2018 08:22AM) (new)

Jade Bookworm | 3 comments I think I appreciated the 'Hurting' and 'Healing' sections the most as they struck me as more profound and more beautifully written. I found the middle sections too explicitly sexual - and it seemed to be telling a separate (though important) story to the other sections. I did get confused by the structure at first and had to re-read the first section to work out where the poems separated. Having said that, I think Kaur makes some really important points about the experience of being a woman and encourages other women to challenge these assumptions and is very honest about her own experiences - I think this honest conversation about what it means to be a woman needs to happen in order to help each other challenge misogyny as women. So many important messages on speaking up, being whole without a relationship, being a woman of colour, talking about periods, and accepting our bodies in their natural state.

The lines which spoke to me the most were:

trying to convince myself | i am allowed | to take up space | is like writing with | my left hand | when i was born | to use my right

you tell me to quiet down cause | my opinions make me less beautiful | but i was not made with a fire in my | belly | so i could be put out

just being a woman | calling myself | a woman | makes me utterly whole | and complete

don't tell me my women | aren't as beautiful | as the ones in | your country
our backs | tell stories | no books have | the spine to | carry

accept yourself | as you were designed
your body | is a museum | of natural disasters | can you grasp how | stunning that is

it is okay to sell what's | between a woman's legs | more than it is okay to | mention its inner workings

My favourite poem was the mountain poem which gave me food for thought on how I should praise other women:

i want to apologize to all the women | i have called pretty | before i've called them intelligent or brave

I'm also glad I read in advance that her abandonment of capitals and punctuation is intended to mimic Punjabi which I thought was really interesting.

Definitely an important read although I wish all sections were as powerful as the mountain poem and these lines.


message 17: by Britt (new)

Britt | 123 comments Keith wrote: "Poetry and prose at its most accessible.

I can understand some of the criticism leveled at the author, but, not being a lover of poetry (I have no wish to spend weeks deciphering what the author is trying to tell me – that is an academic exercise best reserved for the classroom), Rupi Kaur’s work is at a level I can appreciate."


Same here. I've never been a fan of deciphering literature and, even less, poetry, but I really liked Rupi Kaur's directness and honesty. I read "The Sun and her Flowers" right after too and I could've read both books in one night, but I made sure to stop after two chapters each time to let the words sink in.

I'm less a fan of the writing style, however. I even noticed I read the poems with punctuation in my head and I felt many phrases sounded even more powerful that way than with the ridiculous line breaks...

Once again, this book is one I would never have read without OSS and I really enjoyed reading it. :)


message 18: by Allison (new)

Allison (allipie77) | 5 comments This book was really raw and powerful. I think it delivered a message that many of us needed to hear.

I think that this book has gained such popularity because Rupi Kaur has struggled throughout her life, but she has decided to wholeheartedly accept herself instead of caving to societal pressure. This is a struggle that many of us have faced, and a powerful mindset that we can all adapt. People like this book, because we identify with it.

I enjoyed my read, and I was so captivated by it that I wanted to read it all at once. However I tried to pace myself to truly digest the meaning of her poems and to acknowledge how they made me feel. I loved her book, and I'm looking forward to reading her next book.


message 19: by Vicky (new)

Vicky | 3 comments I really enjoyed it but I am not sure what to make of this book. I have mixed feelings for this poetry. The words are marvellously put together, flow and give a really intimate meaning for every woman, and sensitive human being. Some parts are really deep and true and inspiring. But sometimes it feels fixed, or coerced. Not the meaning but the creation of the poem itself. The structure of Kaur writing is a peculiar choice; sometimes it works but, when sentences just expand in different lines without purpose, it falls apart.


message 20: by Cyn (new)

Cyn | 80 comments I finished it yesterday, actually. I would have finished it sooner but, after reading the first part (The Hurt), I had to quit it for a few days, not because I didn't like it but because the poems were raw and shocking, and even though I haven't gone through what she went through, it moved me inside so I had to stop reading it.
Her writing style is quite unique, yet simple. I've never been good at understanding poetry (not in primary school, not in secondary and not as an adult either), so I was quite grateful that these ones were right to the point.
The drawings that complemented some poems were a very visual representation of the poems themselves.
It was a very interesting book, so much so that now I started reading "The sun and her flowers."


message 21: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 2 comments Milk and Honey was astonishing. After months of walking past it at target, hearing it was the july/august book finally got me to commit yesterday (yes, yesterday) and I tore through it in one sitting. Part one is haunting, part two filled me with desire, part three had me reliving old heartbreaks, and part four had me reflecting on all the ways I've been holding myself back when it comes to relationships and loving myself.

This was a wonderful read, and I plan on reading it again and again.


message 22: by Kim (new)

Kim (flychickadee) | 5 comments flawless.

I could have read it in one setting but slowed it down to better process. I'll be reading it again, and for sure using it as an art journal (there's so much to draw out feelings!!!).


message 23: by Brandy (new)

Brandy Cain (brandycain) I read this book last year; but the words still apply.

“Where do I even start with the compelling writing of Ms. Kaur? To say that this book found me at the right time would be an understatement. I know that this book is supposed to deal with pain in different stages, which it does, but I must say that I've never been more uplifted after reading something. It's just one of those books where you become a better person having read it and are grateful that you joined the millions already celebrating this women's work. I've stared at passages for minutes absorbing and connecting with the pain of heartbreak and letting go. I've also fist bumped at the joy and complexity of being a woman and the poems joining hands with other women; encouraging one another. Milk & Honey is not so much a debut work as it is a triumph. To Rupi Kaur: I've become a fan for life.”


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I have no words to describe how beautiful Milk and Honey is...
truly a wonderful book.. fantastic poetry collection!


message 25: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 2 comments I don’t read a lot of poetry but I had heard lots of good things about this book so I was excited to give it a go. The prose are raw and straight forward in a way that was surprising and interesting. I didn’t have to guess at the meaning it was clearly stated and deeply moving and quite often relatable. The illustration throughout also did a great job at enhancing the narrative of the poems. This was a great pick!


message 26: by Dimitra (new)

Dimitra Koutouzi | 4 comments I think rupi kaur is a very talented poet. Milk and Honey made me feel things, that i hadn't felt for years. The first chapter though, the hurting, was really tough for me. There were times i had to stop so i could breathe. However, as i moved on i ended up loving the book and every poem is special for me.


message 27: by Prachi (new)

Prachi Pati | 35 comments I read this book in one sitting, in less than an hour! That is a first for me, and even a first with respect to a book of poems.

I was really impressed with the maturity of content and thoughts from this young poet and have added some of her poems to my list of favourites. Her thoughts in the end on feminism, cherishing our natural beauty and believing in our sisterhood was beautiful.

I could also relate to her thoughts on loving and some on the healing parts. My only complaint was that I felt a lot of space and pages were wasted where she has written a poem of 4 lines or less on a single page:)


message 28: by Cassie (new)

Cassie (cwalters-shantal) This could be an introduction to poetry for someone who hasn’t read the genre before because it is so accessible, but it seriously lacks depth and complexity to almost a laughable level for anyone that is more experienced with the genre. The style is just prose broken up into different lines for emphasis and calling that poetry while exploring the most basic of emotions and 21st century hardships. I would expect this quality of writing out of an introduction to creative writing course, not someone who is now garnering worldwide acclaim.


message 29: by My Quiet Pages (new)

My Quiet Pages (myquietpages) | 8 comments I am so glad I have read milk and honey. It will certainly keep a treasured place on my bookshelf and I know it's one I will pick up again and again and that will probably mean something different to me every time I read it. It's beautifully sharp, graphic, painful and healing. Respect to Rupi Kaur.


message 30: by Ally (new)

Ally (AllyEmReads) (allyemreads) So I didn’t actually read the physical copy of Milk and Honey, instead I listened to it on audiobook. I think this was a much better option because it was actually narrated by Rupi Kaur so I got the experience of hearing how her poems are supposed to sound, and besides I believe that poems are meant to be heard and not read anyway. This book (especially the narration) was so emotional and it really struck home with me, as so many of the individual poems as well as the sections in the book are related to topics and things that so many women have unfortunately experienced. However this allowed me to really connect with the poems and the author and I’m super excited for when I’m able to have my own copy of the collection


message 31: by Moon (new)

Moon | 2 comments If you liked Milk and Honey, read The Sun and Her Flowers. It is a continuation of her first book. She has taken five phases that flowers go through and categorized her poetry based on these topics. Although I liked her first book more, this does give insight into love, loss, culture, immigration, self-harm and abandonment, to overcoming obstacles and becoming self-loving and empowering. I felt her process of becoming a woman and valuing herself was complete. Another good read. Enjoy!


message 32: by Elyse (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) This was a heavy book for being so short. Made even shorter by drawings and sometimes only a line or two poem per page. But man, it was visceral. I FELT it. The first section, aptly named The Hurting, was incredibly hard to read. It focused on abuse of all forms. I did not enjoy this section but still found it to be profound that Kaur wrote so emotionally and raw. The Loving was a beautiful section about relationships. The Breaking was the opposite, about breakups. The final section, my favorite, was The Healing and that was about loving yourself and learning yourself because you have to love yourself before you love someone else.


message 33: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Catherine (rosiederailer) | 1 comments I definitely tagged some poems to return to. Everything was put together beautifully, from the words to the art. It was powerful and vulnerable at the same time and it hit some emotional topics. She is an incredible writer.


message 34: by Charlene (new)

Charlene Morris | 89 comments The book is well written and illustrated but it just wasn't something I read all the time.


message 35: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Allen | 3 comments Rupi Kaur brings beauty to her poems in a stark and human way. Her book, the sun and her flowers, is an equally beautiful poetic examination of relationships. I share her books with my daughter and we have great conversations about her poetry.
Her poetry is a good vehicle for spiritual meditation as well. Different perspectives join the narrative adding depth of meaning.


message 36: by Debbie (last edited Aug 11, 2018 10:58PM) (new)

Debbie (readbydeb) | 5 comments AllyEm wrote: "So I didn’t actually read the physical copy of Milk and Honey, instead I listened to it on audiobook. I think this was a much better option because it was actually narrated by Rupi Kaur so I got th..."

I listened to it on audiobook as well (while looking at the physical pages at the same time so I could see the illustrations and her exploration of typographical structures), and I definitely agree that it added to the experience. I was able to experience the cadance that she intended each word to be read, and picked up on some patterns of rhythm and speech that I may not have necessarily noticed otherwise.

I found Kaur's poems to be simplistic in a way that was approachable and relateable--even those with which I do not have direct experience with the subject matter--yet still powerful.


message 37: by Celeste (new)

Celeste (pinkbear) Some of the poems are very truthful and I do like that but emotionally I didn’t connect with the journey Rupi is trying to tell.


message 38: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa (thehispanicbookworm) | 4 comments What I love about reading poetry is that it is more than just reading. It's about feeling. This book is one that is best understood when you let your heart read the words. I think for me the part about healing was what made my body feel numb and I think it is because as much as I want it my mind isn't yet willing to let me heal. I'm still dealing with the breaking.


message 39: by Lauranne (new)

Lauranne | 5 comments Last month, I had my last Litterature class ever and as I don't usually read poetry, I assumed I would not read poems for a very long time.
I bought Milk and Honey yesterday and once I started reading it, I couldn't put the book down until I had finished.
Rupi Kaur's poems are raw and sometimes even painful to read, but they are beautiful. I will definitely read Milk and Honey again and I would advise anyone to read it.

"Il posa ses mains
sur mon esprit
avant de chercher
ma taille
mes hanches
ou mes lèvres
il n'a pas commencé
par me dire
que j'étais belle
mais que j'étais
exquise

-sa façon de me toucher"


message 40: by Margot (new)

Margot | 1 comments I just went through a really tough and drawn out break up. Reading some sections of this book struck so close to those feelings it was uncanny. I borrowed this from the library but am strongly considering buying it. There are many poems I could reread endlessly.


message 41: by Despina (new)

Despina | 2 comments It took me a while to get through Milk & Honey. The poems are real and they made me feel all ranges of emotions. I find I needed to take a breather between poems sometimes because they were very visual and raw. Excellent read!


message 42: by Brittany (new)

Brittany | 1 comments I devoured this in one sitting I could not put it down. I enjoy poetry but it is usually not the first thing I pick up. I absolutely loved this book! I found this collection to be exquisite, thought provoking, empowering, haunting, poignant and one that will stay with you for a very long time.


message 43: by Jas (new)

Jas (jaskaur037) | 6 comments Though I appreciate what Rupi Kaur has done, not just for poetry, but for Sikh girls like myself, her poems are mostly not my thing. There were a few that I liked, and the ones about her mom were the ones that really resonated with me, but for a lot of them I would read and think this is not a healthy relationship, and I hope this doesn't romanticize this type of relationship for other young readers. I also sometimes wondered if some of the sexual content was simply for shock factor. I can't quite explain it other than it was just a gut feeling that something wasn't entirely genuine. As a side note, having seen her perform some of the poems, I've thought that they might be better suited to spoken word.


message 44: by Lianne (new)

Lianne Burwell (lianneb) | 4 comments I just didn't like this one. Her writing is more slogan than poem, and a number of the poems (especially towards the end) show her youth almost painfully.

For feminist poetry by a poet of colour, I recommend Wild Embers: Poems of Rebellion, Fire and Beauty by Nikita Gill, the Brit child of Indian parents. I gave multiple copies as Christmas gifts next year, and I look forward to reading her new collection, Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul, which just hit the stores this week


message 45: by Jas (new)

Jas (jaskaur037) | 6 comments Lianne wrote: "I just didn't like this one. Her writing is more slogan than poem, and a number of the poems (especially towards the end) show her youth almost painfully.

For feminist poetry by a poet of colour, ..."

"Show her youth almost painfully" I agree! Although I don't think she and I are far apart in age, I think a lot of why I couldn't connect is because her poems just seemed very immature in the feelings they were expressing. Will definitely check out your other recommendations!


message 46: by Bia (new)

Bia Martins | 8 comments I hadn't read poetry in a while and I was used to Portuguese Poets that you need to interpret and understand the hidden message.
Rupi's book is nothing like this. It's like a slap on your face, but in a good way. It is straight forward and direct, while it is also deep and heart wrenching. The book is organized in four chapters that accompany the author's growth while she goes from a place of pain to a place of love. It talks about feminine issues and highlights the sacredness and beauty of the female body.

It made me fell in love with my womanhood once again. A must read for everyone who likes to explore their feelings.

Overall, one of the best poetry books I have read in my lifetime.


message 47: by Jeanelle (new)

Jeanelle Morales | 4 comments I absolutely loved this book! It was so thought-provoking and raw. We need more voices like this.


message 48: by Justine (last edited Oct 09, 2018 06:28AM) (new)

Justine | 40 comments I've seen the word "raw" come up several times in the above reviews, and I agree with the term, but not the positive connotation. To continue in the culinary field, it is raw, but I certainly appreciate well-cooked, slow-cooked poetry better. I prefer poetry that stimulates all senses and uses imagery to arouse the mind, creates colors and flavors, brings words to life to touch you.

I was really glad to see another genre in the selection of OSS but I’m going to check the thread about poetry recommendations because I’m sure there would have been better choices...

Yes, some of her poems have a "slap in the face" feeling, but if you've ever slapped someone, you know it was not a good idea,... just... simply just not constructive. If you prefer caressing, gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, stirring, searing, enligthning and haunting, sickening and healing, and beyond, maybe consider reading another collection. And in return, if you've ever been slapped, you know, it's forgiveable, what's truly hurt may be your ego, but you don't especially report to the police. Well, I want poetry that makes me want to report to everyone.

In my opinion, Rupi Kaur is a woman of her times, for the best and the worst, and I really understand her poetry as a product of social media : reads quickly, short statements, that yes, I admit I agree with. These were definitely thoughts but did not provoke any new ones. If you disagree, it brings no further arguments, and if you agree... you agree. On this, I must credit the youtuber Divya (itsdivya) when she remarked she was glad not to have to study it in school because there was nothing to analyse, to develop about. You can read, nod and scroll again. It makes sense that it speaks to a generation with admittedly a short attention span, used to debates in 140 characters, news in sound-off, square videos, etc.

As for the feminist part, I have mixed feelings. She is a successful woman, she is a woman of color, she self-published, but all of this doesn’t particularly reflects in her book. The resonance it found in so many people is also very telling of the need of a voice like hers, and I can only comply with it. That's why I wished I liked it. I also read the fact that her poetry is meaningful to a generation that is tired of having to develop and explain concepts that should not be hard to grasp, so when they come in the form of a three-line made of three words poems, they are very welcome. But all in all, it really does look like she is the product and not her work.

In French, we have a saying, "jokes are best when short", and I wondered if some of the poems were, in fact, jokes. In English, there's "brevity is the soul of wit". I guess, not always.


message 49: by Bushra (last edited Oct 19, 2018 09:47AM) (new)

Bushra Rahman | 2 comments My prior experience with poetry was limited to classics, such as Frost, for school assignments. So as most students, I mostly approached them as pieces of writing I needed to decipher for a grade. I never really understood how poetry could stir people. That was until I read Milk and Honey.

Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose on tumultuous human (esp feminine) experiences: hurting, loving, breaking, healing. Within each of the chapters, I couldn't quite pick up on any patterns in the way the poems were ordered (is that common in poetry anthologies?). As I read on, I realized that the randomness was fitting. After all, life is an erratic mix of experiences that molds us into who we are. What appealed to me was how raw and visceral the writing felt. I loved how she brought relatable topics such as periods and female friendships to life; but I was also introduced to an inkling of the emotional turmoil of those suffering from various traumas and heartbreak.

All in all, "you've touched me without even touching me".


message 50: by Arnaud (new)

Arnaud B. | 119 comments I found Milk and Honey in French :D
I will post a review as soon as possible.


« previous 1
back to top