Review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Posted May 15, 2018 by Kim in books, review / 0 Comments

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Published: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Andrews McMeel

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.

milk & honey was a book I was curious about, but could never bring myself to buy. There was substantial praise surrounding it, but I couldn’t justify spending the retail price on something that just isn’t “my thing.”

Putting aside the words and the images, the format is the first thing I noticed when I open up this poetry collection. Rupi Kaur’s books are minimalist in design, with complimentary artwork and generally only a few lines on a page. Just like with the sun & her flowers, these are easy reads that end up lasting only a short amount of time.

and you
must never
trade honesty
for relatability

This style of modern poetry might be disconcerting to some and beloved to others, but it doesn’t do anything particular for me. I don’t see a rhyme or reason to her line breaks, though it’s certainly pleasing to the eye. And even if Kaur does hit return

randomly like this, it doesn’t diminish the emotional impact of her words.

life is moving
the healthiest thing
for your heart is
to move with it

I was never head over heels for the kind of poetry that you can only understand if you scour for its references, or even the poetry that’s abstract by intent. I like beautiful prose, and I love to find quotes. Rupi Kaur’s art is beautiful and her messages are straightforward, though sometimes I couldn’t follow the place of a poem in the bigger picture she was trying to paint.

i was made heavy
half blade and half silk
difficult to forget and not easy
for the mind to follow

milk & honey isn’t as impactful as its successor, but they are both a journey through a range of emotions. The reader experiences toxicity and empowerment in different sections of the collection. These are the kind of poems I would save to make the wallpaper of my phone, like on Instagram, and reblog on Tumblr because the words resonate with me. If you think this is the kind of storytelling that works with you, then you’ll likely find a good mix of insightful and familiar themes in milk & honey. It might also be great to push through a reading slump, because what I find helps most is finding that burst of motivation to want to read again. Nothing does that better than the satisfaction of flying through the pages of a book.

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