I first downloaded Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur as a free sample. The power of the offered sample led me to download the full collection of poetry immediately. The sample was so good I would have paid the USD 4.99 price but I took advantage of KU to read for free. I will look for this in print; it is a book I want to keep around and show like-minded readers. This mesmerizing reading experience began even before I got to the content of the full work. I wanted to know about this writer. Clicking on a convenient hyperlink I learned she is based in Canada and is of Punjabi descent. What an interesting name. Where is she from? I followed her Facebook and Twitter pages. They are so interesting that I spent a lot of time reading snippets of her work as well as the work of writer followers. I almost forgot to come back to the book I had just downloaded. Those sites have beautiful prose, poetry, photos, and pictures. Off to Wikipedia where I was impressed by her background and the recounting of an interesting conflict with Instagram. Milk and Honey is great poetry. I don’t read poetry. I need to get out more.
Stylistically, the reader will immediately notice that Kaur doesn’t use capital letters. The only punctuation that appears is the full stop. Even though I am from the US, I use the term full stop, not period. Refer to Kaur’s conflict with Instagram to see why a US reader uses the more British term. Also breaking convention, the title to many of the works appears below the content. Artistically, this collection of poetry/prose has four themes. They range from a deep level of somewhat profound to a more surface level of near common sense. Even at the common-sense level, the reader is struck by a feeling of “Of course, but I didn’t think to express it that way.” Two examples of the surface level:
“if you are not enough for yourself
you will never be enough
for someone else” (p. 197)
want to spend
the rest of your life
The two observations interested me because they can each be considered separately or they work well together. In the Kindle edition, they appear on separate pages. Good, the reader has time for reflection. Notice the full stop doesn’t always appear. It is just that it is the only punctuation that appears in various selections. Much of the poetry has the author’s sketches.
I won’t copy some of the work I considered profound. There is one with the title Selfish (p. 138) that I liked a lot. As mentioned earlier, you won’t know the title until after you have read the selection.
A final note on her Facebook and Twitter pages. (Sorry Instagram, the same comment may apply but I am not a fan of Instagram.) Many, many, many, (and so on) of Kaur’s selections are available for free. So, even though this is a collection I want to own in print, an eBook reader doesn’t have to use KU or pay for the work. Rupi Kaur offers her work for free on her sites. This fits well with her overall themes.
Rupi Kaur offers us a prompt for reflection that will please the heart and mind. What a nice piece to discover at the close of such a socially disruptive year!