"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".
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.
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?
when writing out
make it poetry?
- anika tarannum
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?
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?
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.
I give "Milk and Honey" a 3/10.