Last Thursday was National Poetry Day, and I thought to myself “I need to keep track of all these different days so I can time my content better.” I’d already started writing my review of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, and was disappointed it wouldn’t be ready for such a perfect day.
But, here it is now, for your reading pleasure, my first book review, and my celebration of National Poetry Day.
You may remember Rupi from that photo - a simple and beautiful photo series that candidly revealed the struggles of menstruation. An otherwise perfectly natural bodily function, period’s have a long history of being regarded as something dirty and gross that women should be ashamed of. As Rupi points out though, this monthly occurrence is what allows us to give life.
my womb is home to the divine. a source of life for our species. whether i choose to create or not.
From the moment I saw this image I was struck. I too was wildly ashamed of a natural function my body does of it’s own accord, and I began to question why. Why am I always apologising for my body? It was the start of something.
But still, the image disappeared from my mind until recently when Rupi was on the press train promoting Milk and Honey and also her widely anticipated forthcoming book The Sun and Her Flowers, which will be released today in fact (October 3rd, 2017).
Once I realised the girl in the photo was the same girl who wrote this candid collection of poetry, one I’d only seen snippets of so far, I didn’t hesitate to jump on Amazon and get my own copy. I usually read on a Kindle because I can’t have too many possessions on a temp visa, but I knew I had to have the real thing. I could tell this was something I would want to hold in my hands.
I know Milk and Honey came out in 2014, but it touched me in so many ways when I read it, I couldn’t not spread the word. I’m beyond keen to read the follow up and tell you all about that as well.
Milk and Honey is a powerfully emotive poetry collection that is enlightened, vulnerable and mature. It is a celebration of female sexuality, a chronicle of heartbreak, and a journey of recovery.
Kaur continues to challenge deeply held views about what is feminine and how far we’re allowed to go with our sexuality. Kaur writes in a way that is accessible to all age groups. Whether you’re in your teens, a young adult or approaching menopause, you’ll find something so deeply relatable in this little collection of poetry.
If you’ve ever felt heartache or you fear it, Kaur has the power to guide you through it in sisterhood and solidarity. She shows you there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and holds your hand as you walk towards it.
But don’t take my word for it...
“You tell me
i am not like most girls
and learn to kiss me with your eyes closed
something about the phrase - something about
how i have to be unlike the women
i call sisters in order to be wanted
makes me want to spit your tongue out
like i am supposed to be proud you picked me
as if i should be relieved you think
i am better than them”
“if you were born with
the weakness to fall
you were born with
the strength to rise”
“i want to apologise to all the women
i have called pretty
before I’ve called them intelligent or brave
i am sorry i made it sound as though
something as simple as what you’re born with
is the most you have to be proud of when your
spirit has crushed mountains
from now on i will say things like
you are resilient or you are extraordinary
not because I don’t think you’re pretty
but because you are so much more than that”
salt for sugar
if he wants to
be with you
it’s that simple”
“i know i
for better reasons
but have you seen
that boy he brings
the sun to its
shut the door behind you”