Poetry by Rupi Kaur: A Review

Poetry has always been a style of writing that I loved. I write a bit, but I have always loved reading poetry. To me, it’s a very freeing and vulnerable sort of writing. Poets reveal pieces of their hearts, convey their values and ideas, and express concepts in a often illustrative and touching way.

I have had the pleasure to read Rupi Kaur’s books, “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers.” Usually, the poetry that I read is much different than Rupi’s. At times, when a poet touches a deeper concept, they don’t write about it directly. They may use figurative language to describe it and leave the reader to decide what it means. Although this style has its charm, it can lead the reader to be a little frustrated if they are not able to comprehend the meaning the poet is trying to express. However, this is not the case with Rupi.

In Kaur’s poetry, she evocatively and vulnerably describes the thoughts and feelings that come with loss, love, abuse, femininity, family, beauty, and identity. She does not hold anything back in her poems, and writes them in a language that is accessible to anyone.

In “Milk and Honey,” she cleverly sections her book into 4 portions: The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, and The Healing. In the first portion, she candidly goes into her experiences and feelings of a past abuse, confusion with her identity, objectification, and neglect. In “The Loving“, it dives in with very passionate and colorful poems expressing her feelings of love, and “The Breaking” being the intense pain and desperation that comes with the loss of that love. The last portion, “The Healing,” takes a positive and empowering turn with writings about moving forward after the abuse and failed relationships. I really was found her rawness and authenticity, and how she was able to show how emotions or thoughts aren’t always easy fluid. Sometimes her poems seemed like they were taking a positive turn, but then sometimes it would drop down again to the negative. It would go back and forth at times, like an internal struggle. Her writing style seemed very psychological in that way, and I admired that.

Similarly, in “The Sun and Her Flowers,” she divides this book into five chapters: “Wilting“- which deals with grief, “Falling“- which deals with self-abandonment, “Rooting“- which goes into family struggles and honoring one’s roots, “Rising”– which dives into a new love, and “Blooming“, like “The Healing,” ends the book nicely with positive and empowering messages. I enjoyed this one a little bit more than the first, because I found many of the poems very relatable. However, I found the feminist and immigrant themes very pivotal, especially with the various issues that seem to be dividing the United States currently. Rooting was educational, and I appreciated reading about a her, a child of immigrants, pride and awe of her parents sacrifices that gave her and her siblings the opportunities and freedoms no one in any of their families generations had, specifically women. I really enjoyed reading Rising also, because I was glad seeing her move on to a new love, as scary as that can be. I found myself saying “HA!” at one of the poems where she saw her old boyfriend in the coffee shop and didn’t have a single care. That was definitely a highlight.

I would recommend these books to anyone of a mature mind, especially girls and women. Many of the poems are empowering, and even if this book is taken apart and some specific poems are selected, I think even a young child might appreciate it. However, I believe that both the books in whole are definitely better suited for who are of an reasonable age (16+ maybe), because some of the poems might be disturbing or confusing to a child.

Overall, it was truly a great read, and I am considering buying them so I can read it over and over again. Have you read “Milk and Honey” or “The Sun and Her Flowers”? Tell me what you thought of it!

Below are some of my favorite poems from Rupi, mostly from The Sun and Her Flowers.

Our Unrelenting Inclination

“Since I first gained the use of reason my inclination toward leaning had been so violent and strong that neither the the scolding of other people…nor my own reflections…have been able to stop me from following this natural impulse…”

Juana Ines de la Cruz

libraries

If anything had triggered progress in humanity, it is probably our innate, burning desire to know the unknown, to understand what we do not yet understand, and to grasp what may have been previously deemed indecipherable. So much has come out of this somewhat unconscious inclination.

I feel that reading satisfies this desire. With books, we are able to enjoy learning, and even experiencing (through our capable imaginations) almost a infinite number of topics. Everyone is curious about something and have questions that they want an answer to. However, we live in a world in which we have everything at our fingertips, where an answer is merely a click away. Personally, I find it much more gratifying and arousing to learn about my curiosities through a book. There’s something more magical about it, reading the lines on a page in which a writer laboriously fabricated for the motive of piquing the mind of it’s reader.

Often, our unrelenting inclination towards learning is often left unsatisfied. It’s often fear of being unpopular that I believe hinders the process of  intellectual growth. Maybe the primary way that many people may attempt seeking their mindly interests, whether they are unpopular or not, may be through a quick internet search on their smart phones. It also may because having curiosity in certain subjects is frowned upon or even rejected in their community. I have experience both firsthand. Nonetheless, I didn’t allow it to keep me from from finding books, and learning about the things that fascinated me.

If there is matter that fills your mind with wonder and intrigue, you should not allow anything from stopping you from hunting for information about it. In the end, there is are only a few thing things more rewarding than searching and finding. Personally, I recommend libraries, which are our world’s free intellectual havens and open sources of knowledge on almost anything. Pick up a book or two, and it will start you on a journey that you may have never guessed you’d be on before.

 

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On Books & Reading

“Reading [is] my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.”
Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies

 

There is something to be said about the power that beholds a human being with a pen in their hand. 

Surely, most often, their objective is not to create works that bring happiness to people of various ages, that can inspire change, or that hold knowledge that could bring fulfillment to its reader. However, a writer surpasses common script when they choose to do their work with a meaningful purpose that benefits others, and give an outlet for introspection and imagination.

There are far too many examples of writers of this sort to list. However, when a child is given the ability to read these writings that people have put to the feet of the world to pick up and to indulge it can be quite the impetus for something brilliant.

Unfortunately, this is often not taken for granted.

I love reading. But…I remember I hated it. When I was about five years old, I didn’t want any parts of it. Nevertheless, I did love stories. I made them up every day when I would play with my siblings. I loved hearing my mom read them to me. I loved the warm and dreamy feeling they gave me. Thankfully, I eventually became more open-minded, and I graduated to reading chapter books with pictures. I would read about 100 pages every night before I slept, but only because of my academic obligation. When I did finally start reading books without pictures, after much encouragement, everything changed for me. I could see the imagery of the story that the writer was describing, like a movie playing in my mind. It was as if time had stopped. I had entered another world, another universe. Such a powerful object it was, that I was holding in my hands.

It was then that I realized that I loved reading.

Then, I wanted a dog. I begged for it with no letup, and to convince my parents that I was responsible enough to have it, I intensely studied dogs at the age of seven. I knew from how dogs gave birth to dozens of breeds to how to train them. I really enjoyed this, and it satisfied me immensely when I actually did get a puppy two years later. I noticed that I also loved reading nonfiction, and learning about nature and sciences.

Reading and books had become my passion. I would never leave the house without a book. I could read in the car without getting sick, which was probably only due to my determination. I had to start using glasses, which was probably caused by my habit of reading in the dark. There was something about reading that truly brought me happiness. It filled a void in my life that couldn’t be filled in any other way at the time. It gave me a way to escape when I felt that I really wanted to. Someday, I hope I can also provide this feeling for others as well.

Whether it is to give your brain a vacation or to learn something new, I strongly believe that books are vital. I hope that when reading my posts that I can inspire you to read more if you aren’t already a book lover. Since I have been trying to write stories as well, I hope my writing here will be a catalyst for improving my ability to transfer my thoughts properly to paper. There are many other people out there who are like me, who love books and the sheer comfort and joy it brings them. My wish is that as readers and dreamers and savants and believers we keep this love for books alive so the power of literature can influence humanity for generations and generations to come.

 

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