It has been a very long time since I sat down and read a book. So, I’m glad that the first one I picked up in a while is this Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. It is a collection of poems originally published in 2014. In it, she tackles different themes with the book divided into four: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. Here, she pens down her experiences and feelings. Her words are so raw and real that you’re bound to relate to some of them on some level.
Even if this book was released almost five years ago, the topics Rupi covers are still relevant today. Her work feels very straightforward and she mentions things other people would be scared to talk about. In the first part of the book, her poems revolve around rape culture and she clarifies what rape is. Perfect for the people who still don’t understand what it is.
Rupi also talks about how society oppresses women. How we are merely judged based on our looks and that people want to keep us quiet. However, she stresses that women cannot be shut down.
Another poem that stood out to me is entitled “Mountains.” She talks about how we should call women resilient or extraordinary, instead of just complimenting them on our looks. This is something I’m guilty of so it’s given me a fresh perspective on how I look and treat fellow women.
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mountains ⛰ the moment i set my mind on creating canvas art pieces i wanted this to be the first poem in the collection. i think this poem spent years cooking up in my stomach. and then it rose to my head. and it played. line by line. like a broken record. finally on a friday in march 2014 i scribbled it down into my journal. turned the page. and thought it would never see the light of day again. what happened after that amazed me. the women around me took this piece and made it their own. and you know what that’s taught me? sometimes we can’t be our own judges. we should listen to the incredible folks around us. who are cheering us on with love and support. yes. listen to them. yes trust them. ‘mountains’ is available in: – hand printed and – limited collector’s edition hand painted, signed and dated by yours truly
One thing I love about this book, is how she talks about love and sex. She is very open and honest about her sexuality, proving that women are also sexual beings.
I also felt empowered flipping through her poems about accepting your body. This was especially true for her poem on body and menstruation. Read these too when you forget that men can’t complain about the hair on your body or when you want to talk about your body’s natural cycle.
These are just some of the poems I wanted to highlight from Milk and Honey. This story could go on if I mentioned all 204 of them. So, if you’re looking for something to inspire you this 2019, I highly suggest picking this up.
Art by Marian Hukom
Illustrations by Rupi Kaur
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