Title – milk and honey
Author – Rupi Kaur
Publisher – Andrews McMeel
Pages- 204 (paperback)
Published – November 4th 2014
22 February 2018
Let’s begin with an idea I thought about a lot when I was reading and that is of ‘quantity over quality’. The issue here is not necessarily with lack of good poetry, as some of the poems in here are truly great, heart wrenching and emotional tales of abuse, love, depression and self-acceptance.
Here’s an example of one from ‘the hurting’, the first part of the collection:
I honestly love this, on many levels, the use of sound and pace and subject are truly stellar.
No, the issue here is not with Kaur’s ability or the quality of her poetry, as she has definitely proved that she is more than capable of producing beautiful works of art. The problem I have with this collection is in its inconsistency.
Some of the poems are excellent, and Kaur has definitely proved her bravery and willingness to bear all in order to connect with her audience. However, others don’t at all have this depth or intensity, and it is this contrast that makes the poor works appear particularly badly. I’ll give you an example:
I mean, sure? But, where’s the poem? I’m almost scared to say this, as I know this kind of criticism can be met with strong disagreement and hate on some occasions as this kind of work is highly subjective, but I’m struggling to find an argument as to how this is great work. This is more like an idea rather than a finished piece, a distant first draft that has a possibility to become something fitting the caliber of her other works.
I think a big part of this is a need for a harsher editorial hand, as the flow of this collection is also very strange, I think that the splitting of many poems onto multiple pages doesn’t help either, as it makes the collection seem stilted, there’s no other way to say this than that many of these poems should have been cut, at least in the form in which they appear here.
Anyway, moving on from that!
I really love the illustrations, (well most of them, as some share the same issues that the poems do) I think that they add another beautiful layer to the work, and I can see how Kaur fits these two different types of art together, as they seem to strongly inform one another.
Overall, it’s a mixed bag, of two real extremes. Some of the work here truly is great, honest works of art deserving of their praise, and others were, well, meh. Its also important to remember that Kaur is early in her career, and many of the issues I have raised will fix themselves with time and experience. I look forward to reading her more recent work ‘the sun and her flowers’ to see how she has grown and changed as a poet.
So there it is, my review of ‘milk and honey’ by Rupi Kaur.
If you agree, disagree, have questions, or answers, please let me know in the comments down below.
That’s all from me for now, until next time, Happy Reading!