Milk and Honey

23513349

by Rupi Kaur
Published November 4th 2014 by Createspace
Poetry
4 Stars

 

“the kindest words my father said to me
women like you drown oceans.”

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

I have been reading this book slowly over the last couple of months. I took it in small doses because it’s unlike any other poetry I have ever come across. It was such a sad little book divided into four parts talking about different subjects from love, heartbreak, abuse and femininity. It all felt like going through someone’s Tumblr posts to be honest with how far off from traditional poetry Rupi Kaur was. The words plus the illustrations, I wouldn’t be shocked if it was a collection of previous posts. No capitalization or punctuation.

“for you to see beauty here
does not mean
there is beauty in me
it means there is beauty rooted
so deep within you
you can’t help but
see it everywhere”

Most of them were short four line poems which is why it felt like reading Tumblr posts. They sometimes felt repetitive and that’s the main reason I had to put it down many times but these were the thoughts of a twenty one year old girl going through these things in life and feeling brave enough to share it all with the world. The words are raw and confident. The journey of a soul told in simple words.

“every time you
tell your daughter
you yell at her
out of love
you teach her to confuse
anger with kindness
which seems like a good idea
till she grows up to
trust men who hurt her
cause they look so much
like you
– to fathers with daughters”

Then there were the poems that would blow you away by how amazing they were. They were so full of emotion and meaningful with the way she takes a look at the issue of family, absentee parents and cultural standards. There’s the anger of it all and the understanding of the existence of such things. It felt like a journey to self-love after putting oneself last for a long time. A coming home type of feeling. The unapologetic selfish love type of thing because putting others first has not really worked well for their own well-being. But it also shows that one can be selfish in the way they love themselves but also share that with others. It doesn’t mean locking everyone else out, just be true to yourself.

“i do not want to have you
to fill the empty parts of me
i want to be full on my own
i want to be so complete
i could light a whole city
and then
i want to have you
cause the two of us combined
could set it on fire”

The amount of girl love in this book was amazing. No shame in being extremely feminine and keeping away from what we have been taught as the horrible things about being a woman. The shame in talking about the ordinary things that happen in a woman’s body but yet we can easily sexualize the same part. The odd topic of hair growing on a woman’s body and how horrible it is if you do not get rid of it as soon as one strand starts to show. Who made it a sin to have armpit hair or a bush down there if you wish to have them? Why do we make women feel like crap for being natural yet cuss them out when they are being too superficial?

milk-and-honey

Get it here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Ides of March (Kenya)

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