Poetry lovers will already know that Rupi Kaur’s book, milk and honey, won a spot on the New York Times bestseller list, but for those like me who tend towards prose, that can mean very little. Having just finished the book myself, I am here to say to those like me
“We have been FOOLS…”
Divided into four parts, milk and honey explores the themes of “hurting”, “loving”, “breaking” and “healing”. This may give you the impression that it is a long book. It is not. Even for someone like me, who has developed a nasty habit lately of not reading for long stretches of time (as if my own writing could somehow be improved by isolating myself from the influences of Gaiman, Lovecraft, and Carey), this book was a quick read…the first time, at least. The second, third, and fourth time you read this book, you will linger over the deceptively short poems, written like gut-punches in a prose style that’s more accessible to those who don’t identify as poets.
Each poem “snippet” is a raw jewel that reads like an excerpt from the poet’s life, part self-help and part words of wisdom delivered from the mouth of a life-wearied oracle.
Poetry like this is particularly timely in an age where many of us fill our Pinterests with short, inspiring quotations printed across a serenely artistic background. Any one of Rupi’s poems could be emblazoned as an inspiring message upon your dream board, and while I won’t print any of them here out of respect for her work, chances are good I’ll seek her permission to tattoo AT LEAST one of them on my flesh.
This is not a book you check out from the library and then forget about. This is a book you purchase, read, and then read again some rainy morning when you wonder if it’s ever capably for two humans (members of an incredibly selfish, violent race of creatures) to ever truly love someone else. Yes, Rupi will assure you, It is. But first you must learn to love yourself. And in case you fear you’ve lost the knack for it, she’ll show you how to begin.