Do I actually love poetry collections and just never knew? That was the first thought I had after I was able to untangle my mind from the beauty of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. An anthology of poems that are broken into four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. I read the entire book over a cup of tea. It’s quick. Each poem is short and to the point. They are eloquent, blunt, honest and raw. The illustrations shine with a simplicity that gives them beauty – much like the poems themselves. I read the book, feel in love, let all my friends borrow it, gave my copy to my sister for Christmas and went out and bought a new version of it for myself. I gave myself a solemn vow that a copy of this must always be in my bookshelf no matter where I move to next. I tried reading poetry before, but I never could get into it. It always left me bored. Milk and Honey is the antidote for any poetry disbeliever.
The good: The word transformative is the only thing I could think of. I have never before yelled out, “Yes! This is it.” while reading. Several poems seemed to be words I had never been able to form. Rereading the collection of poetry for the fifth time this weekend and it still resonates with me. I still find a comfort in these pages that is unexpected and invigorating. The illustrations are also amazingly realized. As if the the poem and the drawing are the same being. Even the use of white space is superb. The power of a poem that is six words on a white page is visually stunning and emotionally resonating in the best way possible.
The bad: With so many poems, some will hit harder than others. A couple, in my opinion, verge on adolescent. When I repurchased the softcover version of the book, I was dismayed to see that the forward was not included. I would HIGHLY recommend that the first time you read this book you get a copy that has the forward. Read the forward and then read the rest. It will give context to the collection, the author and the message and help guide the reader through the experience.
The outcome: Everyone should give Milk and Honey a try. If you love to explore feminism and poetry then this is the book for you.