The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
Published: October 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
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From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself. Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms. this is the recipe of life said my mother as she held me in her arms as i wept think of those flowers you plant in the garden each year they will teach you that people too must wilt fall root rise in order to bloom
the sun and her flowers is a collection of modern poetry that is bound to be relatable to almost any reader. Although it is separated into five categories representing a flower’s stages of life, I struggle to recall any overarching correlation between one section and another. As a whole, however, there is a great variety that touches on themes such as feminism, self-acceptance, and immigration.
Looking back, the beginning of the sun and her flowers felt the weakest. Almost none of the poems under wilting were personally particularly impactful. I was underwhelmed by the lack of potency in the words, and it felt like I was reading pages made up of little more than a single sentence with random breaks. My favorite poems were concentrated under falling to blooming. The immigration section was the one I connected to the most; the emotions that rolled off those pages felt like a familiar song. They’re ideas I’ve been exposed to before, but coupled together in a beautiful way.
what do i care
if you love me
or miss me
or need me
when you aren’t doing anything about it
if i’m not the love of your life
i’ll be the greatest lost instead
I can’t say that the poems in here changed my life, and neither will I attest to having the expectation that it would. I was looking for a collection of quotes that could inspire and leave me with a satisfying sense of empowerment. There is definitely plenty of them in here. Kaur is a great introduction to poetry for wary reader (even if you’ve written off poetry because you remember the arduous struggle of searching for a deeper meaning in every single comma and word during school, you might be surprised to find how easy her poems are to read). the sun and her flowers is expressive but direct; it’s rather explicit in content but the meaning is rarely obscured.
your actions are not my responsibility
you will control yourself
I found that Rupi Kaur’s artwork was a great complement to her poetry. They are all black and white drawings that never felt intrusive or distracting. Her range goes from a few squiggly lines on a page to incredible detail.
i even tried to bury myself alive
but the dirt recoiled
you have already rotted it said
there is nothing left for me to do
I will likely go back and read Milk and Honey in the near future, and move onto some more modern poetry from there. Perhaps if I’m feeling particularly daring, I’ll tackle some classic poetry as well. I have my eye on a few other collections that are often cited with Rupi Kaur, such as The Princess Saves Herself in this One and Love & Misadventure.
when it came to speaking
she said do it with commitment
every word you say
is your own responsibility
At the very least, the sun and her flowers serves as a very quick read. Flipping through pages so quickly gave me immense satisfaction. Occasionally, a poem would demand more attention and I would feel compelled to read it over again to feel the full impact of Kaur’s words. Other times, I would have no clue where one poem ended and another began. I had to run with the assumption that all her poems are titled at the end, because capital letters and punctuation seem to be the enemy of this volume. (Something about the way complete lower case letters look is extremely aesthetically pleasing to me though.)
I have to say, I feel like if I take some of Aelin Galathynius’s lines and break them
hitting the return
i would get
as some of these poems but i love it anyway.
take your journals and paintings
across the ocean when you leave
they will remind you who you are
when you get lost amid new cities
they will also remind your children
you had an entire life before them