Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur: Book Review by Asha Seth

Author: Rupi Kaur | Genre: Poetry | Pages: 210

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

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“i am a museum full of art
but you had your eyes shut”

I am a lover of poetry. I can’t live without poetry and am always on the lookout for some kickass poetry books. So far, Vikram Seth, Charles Bukowski, Gulzar, Kaifi Azmi, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, have been my favorites. Having said that, one is always searching for more soul-stirring poets who would dazzle life with their words, craft, take on life, etc.

Rupi Kaur has been quite the sensation in the world of poetry. It felt like I was the only one who hadn’t read her books. One fine afternoon; having nothing to do, when a Kindle notification hit up on my phone for free ebooks to explore, Milk and Honey was on the top of the freebie list. Now that I’ve read the book, I feel there are a lot of better poetry books to read than this overrated debut.

“people go but how they left always stays”

Right from page one, I felt as though I was promised a garden of roses, and was led blindfold into a dried front lawn of a house long abandoned. High on returns is what this book feels like on the surface what with all the hype and the straight-up five-star reviews from a tonnes of readers. I now wonder how could they have missed something so obvious!

Milk and Honey is a collection of words put together with unnecessary line breaks to make sentences look like poems, or perhaps for style; it’s hard to tell. A majority of them are plain thoughts lacking all elements of poetry namely – craft, richness of language, vocabulary, ideas, intellect, figures of speech, or heartfelt thinking. Modern poetry differs from traditional poetry and a lot of authors have been great at penning down some real good books with mirth. Milk and Honey doesn’t even qualify to be shelved under modern poetry.

“the very thought of you
has my legs spread apart
like an easel with a canvas
begging for art”

The words feel like regular humdrum. Although some pieces were centered around feminism, female sexuality, rape, and consensual sex, etc., overall they lacked any imagination that could make them memorable or even inspiring for a reader. The feeling that it’s a work of little passion and almost no creativity shouts out from every page down to every word. Poems that could very well be called motivational quotes at best, debut that could be a fine Instagram poetry page.

This book fell flat in its expectations albeit its best-seller status and all! But I’d want readers to read it anyway just to know that this isn’t poetry and definitely not worth the hype. Atticus, Tyler Knott, Sakshi Narula, etc. are some great modern age poets to read and enjoy. If you’re looking for something light and fast-paced to read, without much worrying about the poetic nuances, you could give it a try.

Have you read ‘Milk and Honey’? Do share your thoughts below.