Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Poetry

"who tricked you / into believing / another person / was meant to complete you / when the most they can do is complement"

"i want to be full on my own / i want to be so complete / i could light a whole city / and then / i want to have you / cause the two of us combined / would set it on fire"

This book felt like a poetic companion to Colleen Hoover's It Ends with Us. The first of the four sections, "the hurting," related mostly to abuse within the family, and that was tough to read. The following sections were "the loving," "the breaking," and "the healing." Each section focused on a different aspect of loving and living.

I enjoyed this book, but I will say it's not PG. The illustrations, though not terribly detailed, are sexual and some of the written content is sexual. (Just a disclaimer for younger readers who want to rush out and pick up this major poetic hit that's flying off the shelves.)

But this book isn't just about sex. It's about learning to love and accept yourself so that you can love and accept others. This can apply to anyone, but Kaur directs this message specifically to women. And I think it's an essential message to hear in today's culture when women are objectified and competing with one another to reach unobtainable standards.

I love how Kaur admonishes the reader to respect her body: "he placed his hands / on my mind / before reaching / for my waist." Amen, sister Rupi. Preach it. She encourages women to wait for the guy your mother said was worth it: "no / it won't / be love at / first sight when / we meet it'll be love / at first remembrance cause / i've seen you in my mother's eyes / when she tells me to marry the type / of man i'd want to raise my son to be like." That's wisdom right there.

She also speaks out about treating others right, even if they don't deserve it: "some people / are so bitter / to them / you must be kindest." And, "it takes grace / to remind kind / in cruel situations."

I also love how Kaur discusses pain and how hope can come from hurt: "stay strong through your pain / grow flowers from it," and "the world / gives you / so much pain / and here you are / making gold out of it / - there is nothing purer than that."

Quite a deep read, for a quick read. 

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