Bookreview: MILK AND HONEY by Rupi Kaur




Title: milk and honey
Author: Rupi Kaur
Publisher: Andrew McMeel
Price: $14.99
Pages: 208
Genre: Poetry
Year: 2015
Amazon Link: click here















It is very tempting
to write my thoughts down
like this aswell
but I guess
I won't do it
I have never really been into reading poetry but have always found it interesting to write my own.
There is a huge hype surrounding this book that makes it hard for the poems to live up to.
The book is separated into four parts:
The hurting.
The loving.
The breaking.
The healing.
I enjoyed the whole dark layout of this book. The four parts are separated by black pages which give the whole book a clear black-white contrast and stress the focus of the words.
I liked "the hurting" and "the healing" part best. "the loving" and "the breaking" parts focussed way too much on boy-girl relationship issues and that wasn't what I was looking for in this book. I could understand why "the breaking" part, which focussed on the heartbreak, was the biggest one, since one always seems to have the most need to write something down in that time, but I would have loved for "the hurting" and "the healing" parts to be bigger and for them to take up more space of this book.
"The hurting" part focussed on family issues and on sexual abuse and felt raw and intense. The illustrations were daring and forced one to stare at them longer. I really liked that because that part made me feel something. Still, I would have wanted to read more poetry about those depths than about heartbreak. I enjoyed the openness and shamelessness with which the author talked about sex.
"The healing" part consisted of some feminist poems, which I really liked. There were a lot of poems in this part that I immediately wanted to take a picture of and post on Instagram. They were important and very well written.
The illustrations were often even better than the poems. I often stared at them for a while until I had the feeling that I had fully grasped them. Although I don't feel very comfortable in saying "fully" here, since both the poetry and the illustrations leave a lot open for interpretation.

It's definitely a book to read at least twice. I already reread most of the poems while first reading it to let them sink in deeper. But I think that once you've seen the whole picture, after having read it all through for the first time, you will gain another perspective on the single poems and maybe read them in a different way the second time.
Of course one will read the poems in a different way depending on when and where one reads them. If you currently are in a relationship or do suffer from heartbreak you will read it in totally different ways and it will speak to you on different levels than it will when you are not.
There were definitely some poems that I would mark in the book if it were my own and that I would go back to every once in a while.
Some poems
have felt
as if the author had just
hit enter
every now and then
and called it
But others felt much more thought through than that. And still, I would have liked longer poems better than the many two-liners that were in it. These were also why I read through this book in under an hour. And I really did take my time with it and reread most of the poems and stared a while at all the illustrations. I also would have liked it better if there had been more illustrations, since those were often better than the poems themselves.
It wasn't as feminist as I had thought and hoped it to be but the few feminist poems that were in it were really great and worthy of being painted on a t-shirt and being worn proudly.
Everytime I encountered an incredibly great poem I wanted more like these, wanted to get shocked, to get sucked in and to get furious again. And I had actually expected the book to make me more furious than it actually did. I think that this is also because "the hurting" and "the healing" part weren't long enough.
I also didn't like that the author wrote so hateful about the potential "next girl" that would come after her and would be her exlover's new lover in "the breaking" part. The poems seemed so hateful against this other girl which colluded completely with the poems in "the healing" that preached girls loving and supporting other girls instead of hating on them. The poems in "the healing" part were so furious against men who undermine other women in order to make one woman feel better about herself but I couldn't take those poems too seriously because of the previous poems that did the exact same as those men.


I would have liked more "stomach-punching" poems, as the author describes her own poems in one poem.
"milk and honey" could have been more in my opinion but I still enjoyed it. If you go into it with neutral expectations, you will probably enjoy it a lot more.
The book has left me more open and welcoming to poetry but also a bit sceptical to poetry books being praised as being feminist.
To end this on a positive note though - when I took all the pictures of my favourite poems, I was surprised by how many great ones there were actually in this book after all.
So if you don't expect this to be feminist poetry first, you can definitely take a lot out of it for yourself.



I award this book with 3,5 out of 5 stars.


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