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.