An Honest Review Of Milk And Honey

An Honest Review Of 'Milk And Honey'

Okay but honestly...


"Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur. We've all heard of this book. It's everywhere. One thing that is undeniably brilliant is Rupi Kaur's marketing strategy. Her poetry looks good. It's so aesthetically pleasing with only a few simple lines on each page and often a little doodle to accompany it. She essentially pioneered Instagram poetry and as we all know, if it looks good, it'll probably do well on Instagram.

But, now that the hype has died down a bit, let's discuss the content of "Milk and Honey".

The Good

As a South Asian female myself, I understand both the lack of recognition we get and the importance of young girls to have someone like Rupi Kaur pave the road for them. It can be easily determined from reading "Milk and Honey" that she is (or is trying to be) proud of her skin color and background; embracing the parts of her that society tells her to be ashamed of. There are also some hidden gems like this poem:

This poem is simple yet full of depth. She captures a youthful, bittersweet essence that makes me want to read it a few times over so I am able to individually piece together the visuals. Sure, it has a very teenager-y vibe but that doesn't make it bad. In fact, young teens are probably her target demographic so this poem is perfect. This is more of what I was expecting when I gave into the hype and decided to give this book a shot.

The Rest

Line Breaks Between Sentences

Kaur's poetry is just pretentious sentences meant to be relatable with line breaks. Let's look at this one for example:

It's a beautiful sentiment and I get what she's trying to say but there just isn't any depth or substance here. I don't mean that simple poetry can't be great, this is just...a literal broken down sentence. If poetry is written the way everyone talks, what's the point of it? Isn't poetry, like all art, supposed to invoke a feeling or emotion? If so, what distinguishes Kaur's poetry from the everyday conversation?

does simply
pressing enter
when writing out
a sentence
make it poetry?
- anika tarannum

Unnecessary Metaphors

A lot of these poems have metaphors just for the sake of having metaphors. Look at this one:

And what about it? How is my body like a museum of natural disasters? Why does it matter? How is that stunning? And, most importantly, huh?

No Originality

What bothers me most of all about these poems is the lack of originality. Save yourself some money and get on Tumblr where you'll find the exact same poorly written love yourself mumbo jumbo. I find most of Kaur's poetry to be pseudo-profound just like most Tumblr poetry. So why waste money on this God awful book when you can get on Tumblr for free?

Parody Books

If you are insistent on spending your money, I'd recommend reading some books that gained some obvious inspiration from Milk and Honey. There are several parody books that were released during the height of its popularity. The most well known is Milk and Vine by Adam Gasiewski and Emily Beck which takes iconic Vine quotes and puts them in poem format like:

You'll probably get way more enjoyment from reading books like these.

Overall Rating

I give "Milk and Honey" a 3/10.

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Why I Write The Way I Do And How I Got Better

I always wanted to play the piano.


I always wanted to play the piano. I loved the way it sounded. I loved how people could move their fingers across the keys to create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

When I first started writing in middle school, there was always a topic and a rubric you had to follow to make the grades. I would always try to put my spin on it and wrote whatever I saw fit. I took inspiration from movies and books without even noticing it.

When my senior year came around, I was miserable. I wanted to get away from my hometown and everyone in it. I wanted to write myself out of it, so I did. I began a small blog where I just posted candidly about how I was feeling. I didn't care if it got a lot of views- or any at all for that matter. I just wanted a place to compile feelings I couldn't describe and put them into words. It helped me to think about everything and think through it all individually forming it into sentences. I realized, when I stopped focusing on trying to please someone or follow a rubric, my best work came from my own thoughts.

Before heading off to UGA, I started writing on Odyssey. I struggled with finding my brand and what I wanted to write about since this was more than just inspirational posts I wrote when I was bored and needed to sort out my feelings. I tried to write about what was interesting to me. Some I was proud of. Some I wasn't.

But my writing improved when I did. When I finally got my feet wet at school I learned a lot about myself and what I cared about. I didn't want to just fill a word count with meaningless topics. I wanted to write what I wanted to read, what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to share my life with a public audience. I wrote the best about what closest to me- and that was my life itself. I wrote about sorority recruitment and how I felt turning nineteen and how going to UGA flipped my world upside down. I began to write what I casually talked about. I constantly gave advice and filled my mom in on what I was doing, so the words came easy. When you write what you speak, it's simple.

Writing is one of those things that doesn't come with a formula sheet or a test bank. You just have to do it.

You have to think out-loud but instead of saying it, writing it, The grammar and organization will work itself out later, but the thoughts won't always. You have to always write the first thing you think. Use the keyboard as your tongue. It's your way to communicate except with so many more people than your mouth could ever reach.

It's like a puzzle. You have to figure out not just how to arrange what you want to say but place it in the correct spot at the right angle for people to understand the full picture. You have to see the way things fit together, the way the flow. You have to look at what angle captures what you're truly trying to show. You just have to solve it.

The truth is: Everyone has their own style of writing and what works for them. Some people brainstorm list after list of ideas while others wait for a creative kick and are instantly inspired. Some people care more about grammar structure and proper punctuation while others just want their ideas to be read.

I always wanted to write. I loved the way it sounded. I loved how people could move their fingers across the keys to create something beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

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