[Poetry Review] Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

419qslukzrl-_sx321_bo1204203200_Title: Milk and Honey
Author: Rupi Kaur
Genre: Prose poetry

Where I got the book: I purchased this collection through Book Depository.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary: A poetry collection that deals with trauma, abuse, loss, healing, and femininity. It’s split into four chapters – the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing – where each chapter serves a different purpose.

“did you think i was a city
big enough for a weekend getaway
i am the town surrounding it
the one you’ve never heard of
but always pass through
there are no neon lights here
no skyscrapers or statues
but there is thunder
for i make bridges tremble”
– Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur

Okay, I have to admit that this one is a bit difficult to rate. I liked it but I didn’t love it. Far from it, actually. I think I’ve just been exposed to this book for such a long time now, and heard so much praise and read so many raving reviews, that I surrendered to the hype and set my expectations way too high.

Some of the poems in this collection really stayed with me, such as the excerpt from the poem I chose to quote above. I thought this was a great metaphor. Maybe they’re not the most profound or groundbreaking poems I’ve ever read, but they’re deeply honest and sometimes heartbreaking. You can easily relate to them and they really do make you reflect. I especially liked the poems that were centered around femininity and feminist issues, they are well-written and on point. I also loved the illustrations, they’re so simple but effective and fitting, and they just add something extra. As a whole, I really like the design and the layout of the book.

However, parts of the collection seemed rather repetitive to me, and I started feeling this way about all the chapters after a while. Many poems sounded the same, or I just kept getting the exact same message out of them without much variety. I caught myself thinking that I’d already heard or read similar things elsewhere. Many poems felt more or less like filler poems, and some of these didn’t even read all that much like poetry at all – if it weren’t for the line breaks and lower case letters I would have thought these to be a plain fact or a statement rather than a poem. I’m also a bit torn when it comes to this particular style of poetry. I’m not very familiar with the genre and I’m still trying to explore and read more of it, but I tend to prefer longer poems. They don’t have to necessarily rhyme but I like it when there’s a certain rhythm or flow to them and that’s hard to achieve when the majority of the poems consist of so few lines. Of course, that’s just my personal preference.

The issues that are brought up in this collection are undoubtedly important and relevant, and I can definitely see why so many people love this. This is also in many ways a good place to start reading poetry because it’s so accessible and straight-forward. Overall, there’s a lot of raw emotion in this and it’s an honest collection. I appreciate that very much, but as for the poetry itself I’m sadly left a bit underwhelmed.


Author website: rupikaur.com
Link to collection on Goodreads: Milk and Honey
Link to review on Instagram: Milk and Honey review

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Author: AnnReadsThem

Books messed up my circadian rhythm.

7 thoughts on “[Poetry Review] Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur”

  1. I’ve been seeing this collection around so much. I don’t read a lot of poetry generally so I was thinking it might be a good place to start, but I don’t know if I’m just bowing to peer pressure on bookstagram?! From your review it sounds like it might be a good one to dip in and out of?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly I was kind of nervous about posting this review just because I know so many love it! In my first draft I even wrote “I’m sorry, but I was a bit underwhelmed” and I thought “wait, why the heck should I be sorry” lol. And it’s not even a bad review! I definitely bought this because of bookstagram, no lie. I don’t think it’s groundbreaking or life-changing, and like I said in my review, I don’t know how much I even like this poetry style. But it’s easy to understand and it’s also relatable for many so all that considered it’s an okay place to start. I can recommend Kate Tempest too though. I’ve only read “Hold Your Own” so far but it deals with some of the same themes, is also easy to understand but (in my opinion) it has more substance and just a different rhythm/structure. I reviewed here if you’re interested 🙂 https://annreadsthem.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/poetry-review-hold-your-own-by-kate-tempest/

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And I’m glad you loved it, it’s not a bad book. Maybe I wasn’t able to relate all that much or maybe it was the style itself, I don’t know, since it’s been so praised I guess I just expected to feel something more.

      Liked by 1 person

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