Author: Rupi Kaur
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
First Published: November 4, 2014
Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.
The book is divided 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.
When I put out a survey on Goodreads asking my fellow users what poetry books I should read Milk and Honey was overwhelmingly recommended to me. I had heard the author’s name and seen the book cover but did not know what to expect when I picked it up. This has by far been one of the best book recommendations I have ever received, so thank you to all the lovely readers that brought the book to my attention!
Milk and Honey is an outstanding collection that strikes that perfect balance between pain and healing. The book has been divided into four sections, each detailing different phases of the author’s life and alternates between both the good and the bad experiences that shaped her.
The poetry is honest and really gave me a sense of who the author was, her personality, how she recognizes her own flaws and still chooses to love herself. There is a wide variety of topics from love, lust, abuse, family, bitterness, self-acceptance, beauty, and camaraderie with other women. The book is personal, unapologetic, and most of all empowering.
Many of the pages are decorated with Kaur’s artwork and varied between simple line doodles and some beautiful sketches. The drawings and the format really give the book a style that is instantly recognizable and I found it to be aesthetically pleasing.
My only gripe with the collection is the same issue I have with the instapoet trend; the writing is overly simplistic, with some poems consisting of no more than a single line. The writing is easily digestible which has the advantage of wide appeal, but at times lacks the nuance that would make individual poems more memorable.
“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 i was not made with a lightness on my tongue so i could be easy to swallow i was made heavy half blade and half silk difficult to forget and not easy for the mind to follow”
Trigger Warning: Abuse, Discussions of Sex