Published: Createspace in 2014
My rating: 5/5 stars, and has me reconsidering the whole scale
Description: “milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.” (From Goodreads)
Why I picked it up: I’ve been eyeing this one up for a while now. In the midst of a massive book slump one of my favorite vloggers, Ingrid Nilsen, talked about it in one of her videos and I took it as my sign to finally order it. And so I did, and read it immediately, and I’m so, so happy I did.
This review will be a bit short for two reasons: 1, there isn’t plot or characters to discuss as it’s a book of Kaur’s poetry and 2, I’m pretty much at a loss for words with this one, if you couldn’t already tell.
I loved this book. I honestly cannot think of a proper way to describe how this book made me feel. The best word I can think of to possibly describe this book is “life-changing”.
I didn’t know completely what to expect when diving into this one other than the fact that it was a hugely popular modern poetry book, and I had been dying to read some good poetry so that was enough for me. I loved this book from page one, and finished it within a few hours with the strong urge to read it again right away.
Kaur’s writing is magical, chilling, tear-jerking. I had constant goosebumps on my arms while reading it. As a matter of fact, I got goosebumps just skimming through it looking for content for this review. I felt as if she’d taken so many of my thoughts and feelings and articulated them in a way I never could. If someone asked me to explain to them my deepest, most intense feelings of pleasure and despair, I would tell them to read milk and honey by Rupi Kaur and they would understand me. I felt as though this book was cradling me or wrapped around my like favorite blanket, or maybe both.
The book also features small doodle-like illustrations on many of the poems. I adore these, and I feel like they give the book a very personal feel, as if you’re peeking into someone’s diary. It helps you feel more connected with Kaur, as well as adds emotion to the poem it accompanies.
I put down this book feeling strong and powerful and in control. I put it down feeling like I could do literally anything. I put it down feeling proud of my past and excited for my future. I put it down feeling proud to be the woman I am, and that is the effect it has, and that is why I call it life-changing. Because it was. And I know I will carry this around in my backpack and go back to it when I’m feeling my lowest, because it’s the kind of book that whispers in your ear and tells you that you’re strong enough to overcome whatever you’re facing.
Favorite poems: to fathers with daughters, the idea of shrinking is hereditary, to the reader, to all young poets (note: these aren’t the official titles of the poems, as they don’t have titles. I’m just using the line that stands out the most to me, sort of like how Emily Dickinson’s poem titles are just the first line of the poem.)
Quotes I enjoyed:
“you were so afraid / of my voice / i decided to be / afraid of it too”
“i had to leave / I was tired of / allowing you to / make me feel / anything less / than whole”
“if you were born with / the weakness to fall / you were born with / the strength to rise”
“you were a dragon long before / he came around and said / you could fly / you will remain a dragon / long after he’s left”
Recommend for fans of: Iain Thomas (pleasefindthis), slam poetry, literally anything