Straight after I had finished The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace, I went onto read Milk and Honey. I was on a modern poetry hype and was looking forward to FINALLY getting round to Rupi Kaur’s debut poetry collection. (Yes, I know. It’s taken me aaaagggeeesss to read it!)
milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
WOW THIS BOOK IS SEXUAL. It was one of the very first things that I noticed when I started reading it. And because of that aspect, I do reccommend that this poetry collection is for mature readers only. It’s pretty much the whole of the first chapter that is sexual with a couple more poems of that nature scattered throughout. Even though they were quite graphic, you could definitely hear the message that Rupi Kaur was portraying through them. There are some poems about sexual abuse though so if you are triggered by such topics, then be careful if you want to read this collection.
you mustn’t have to
make them want you
they must want you themselves
Like The Princess saves Herself in this One, Kaur’s work has also been slated for just being ‘Tumblr spacing’. I will repeat what I said in my review for TPSHITO:
“I have heard (and read) a lot of debate surrounding this type of poetry, with people calling it ‘Tumblr spacing’ and saying that anyone could do it and get published. My answer? Do it then. Try and see how easy it is to put your deepest and darkest secrets down onto paper and turn them into fluid yet snappy poetry that people across the world can relate to. It’s hard. And anyway, what is the definition of poetry? It doesn’t have to rhyme or look a certain way or talk about a certain subject. Poetry can be/look/sound anything that you want it to be and modern poets have done exactly that.”
There are so many different types of poetry and it’s interesting (and heart-breaking) to read something as raw as Kaur’s Milk and Honey. I don’t think that I enjoyed it as much as TPSHITO, but I still really enjoyed the poetry that came in the later chapters such as chapter 3 and 4 with chapter 4 probably being my favourite section because it was all about healing. These are a couple of my favourite:
Milk and Honey is full of meaning and emotions. Pure emotion. The poems in this collection tell the story of how women are seen, portrayed and used in everyday life. How they are taken advantage of and often loved in the wrong way. The collection also tells a story of healing and coming to grips with you are, what you have been through in your life and how to take all of that crap on board and mould it into who you want to be.
i don’t know what living a balanced life feels like
when i am sad
i don’t cry i pour
when i am happy
i don’t smile i glow
when i am angry
i don’t yell i burn
the good thing about feeling in extremes is
when i love i give them wings
but perhaps that isn’t
such a good thing cause
they always tend to leave
and you should see me
when my heart is broken
i don’t grieve
I also think that I should point out that there has been accusations directed at Kaur for plagiarism by Nayyirah Waheed. I cannot really comment on this because I have no read any of Waheed’s work, but here are some links that discuss the matter in great detail and also give examples:
I’m sure that there are other posts out there that go into even greater detail but these are the two that were bought to my attention.
Overall, I did enjoy this collection of modern poetry. I definitely preferred the latter section to the first but that’s because the sections of healing speak more to me than the sexual poems. Like I said before, please be weary of going forward with this book if abuse in any form triggers you.
Disclaimer: this book contains triggers for sexual abuse