Review: Poetry book “Milk and Honey” illustrates the struggles of womanhood

Review: Poetry book Milk and Honey illustrates the struggles of womanhood

Jordyn Laudanno

“Milk and Honey,” written by Rupi Kaur, has become an instant hit among teenage and adult women. Kaur’s book consists of poems about the struggles of womanhood and her own personal experiences of love and heartbreak. Each page is characterized by a poem with a complementary illustration.

Kaur is a Canadian poet, writer and illustrator of Indian descent. The 25 year old self-published her book in 2014. Her poems have gone viral across social media for their artistic simplicity and relevance in today’s society. The book is short, but contains a very strong message.

The sensitive topics covered, such as sexuality and abuse, reflect her own experiences with these concepts as well as provide advice for how her audience should handle them.

“We know sexual violence immediately… but we also challenge that narrative every single day. And this poetry is just one route for doing that,” Kaur said.

This book also offers advice and ways to deal or cope with things. She reminds her readers of their worth and how important they are despite the modern epidemic of low morale among young women. “Accept that you deserve more than painful love, life is moving; the healthiest thing for your heart is to move with it,” Kaur wrote on page 4 in “Milk and Honey.”

Kaur indicates that the intensity of the book was necessary for what she wanted. She articulates the impact of the experiences she depicts when she speaks as to why she wrote such an intense book.

“Our trauma escapes the confines of our own times,” Kaur said.

“Milk and Honey” is uniquely written in all lowercase. According to Kaur, she wanted to write it in Punjabi but could not. In this language, every letter is the same, and the only punctuation used is a period. This type of writing symbolizes a sense of equality and unity with every letter having the same power.

This book has given girls something to relate to and reminds them that they are not alone in the struggles life brings them. With over half a million copies sold—something Rupi says she did not expect—fans eagerly anticipated Kaur’s second poetry book which was published on Oct. 3.

The second book, “The Sun and Her Flowers,” revolves around a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming throughout the life of an adolescent.

“The Sun and Her Flowers” follows the same type of pattern as Rupi Kaur’s first book, filled with poems that relate to one another.

She starts off her second book with a reference to “Milk and Honey” yet gives the new book it’s own feel.

“Bees came for honey, flowers giggled as they undressed themselves for the taking, and the sun smiled”

“The Sun and Her Flowers” is a touching and self assuring book written by Rupi Kaur, hopefully one of the many more to come.