Thoughts on: milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

It seemed wrong to call this a book review. I feel that a book of poetry is too intimate, too subjective and too personal to ever review. Sometimes things just don’t connect with you and to me it seems unfair to judge it in that sense (I also know that books are subjective, and also open to interpretation but in a different sense). Also after studying poetry at university, I have learnt that it is so flexible, and there is no longer strict structures, guidelines or formulas; a poem can be almost anything, and for that reason I don’t think that I can ‘review’ this book, but rather simply voice my own thoughts.

Firstly, I do want to admit that I was personally a bit disappointed with this overall. There are many reasons as to why this could be, and some of these are: this book is incredibly hyped and my expectations were through the roof, I have seen Rupi’s most famous/loved poems splashed all over social media and liked them and so my expectations were that they would all be of that level, and then finally, perhaps I didn’t find that I related to a lot of the aspects. Of course there was plenty of subject matter that I related to –  my favourite section was by far ‘the healing’ which is the last section of the book and I really felt that I connected more to those poems than the rest of the book. The first part of the book felt a little sporadic and un-edited, whereas I found that ‘the healing’ tied it all together and it felt complete. However, this could be intentional and I did like the way there were the different section.

Another reason that I am disappointed is that I think a lot of the poems felt too simple. Some felt as though they were just an over-used sentiment that was laid out in the form of a poem. I felt that I skimmed a lot of them because it felt as though I’d read them in so many different ways and they simply lacked originality. I hate saying this because it sounds harsh and unfair and I know that these poems are a result of a deeply personal, difficult journey and I would never want to take away from that. I just found that some of it felt plain and as if I’d heard it before, and I found that a lot the the poems lacked lyrical language and imagination in a language sense. The power and emotion was clearly evident but I felt that the words themselves were lacking.

In saying that, I did adore some of the poems. This book is packed with poems and a handful of them definitely grabbed hold of me and refused to let go. These poems really show-cased Rupi Kaur’s ability to connect and relate to her reader’s and spread a powerful message through her words. The general style of the book, and the message behind it is incredible and I have so much respect for Rupi Kaur for having the strength and bravery to be so vulnerable in order to make others feel strong. Again, I found that ‘the healing’ was the most powerful section and she has a wonderful way with connecting and empowering women on healing and growth. I want to read more poems from her about feminism and healing. Despite not loving this as much as I want to, I still plan on picking up her next poetry book when it hits the shelves.

What did you think of milk and honey?

Cass xx

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