| Milk and Honey |
| Rupi Kaur |
| A collection of poetry |
*** Caution: not for the fainthearted or the prudes! ***
The words that sprang to my mind when I was poring over this book were – Raw, Sensual, No Inhibitions and No holds barred for sure.
This gorgeous looking book with such a divine and striking cover, is divided into 4 parts. I won’t call it a book rather it’s a journal of poems documenting emotions and incidents in words and sketches both rendering great emphasis into the reader’s mind.
In this section the poetess narrates experiences of sexual abuse from a male relative – be it a father, an uncle …. All translating her impression of that first important man in her life as impotent and weak, deriving pleasure from her hurt, strength from suppressing her into silence and satisfaction from breaking her trust.
This part also deals with alcoholism, wife-beating, dominance of man over woman and what growing up for a little girl in between all this leads to.
I was moved into tears and horror at the expressions, for they spoke of unimagined hurt; sometime in seemingly crude words but on the whole its the pain, anger and hurt that s comes out very strongly and shakes you up.
This section moves into finding love, exploring it and giving into its expression in the pleasures taken by the body. The lines are erotic and sensuous, expressing the thrill of sexual pleasures which is stated without inhibitions or guile. The use of such uninhibited openness made me feel sexy while reading it. I could relate to the raw sexuality that s expressed in this section about her lover and his love-making – how it makes her feel. A woman’s true sensuality is in knowing her lover is enamoured with her, makes her feel beautiful and powerful – this expression comes across in her writing with a force that left me gasping for more. (It is, in my opinion, the best section of the book)
Every word, every line is etched with the turmoil of a breakup. The countless times we fluctuate between break up and makeup just to convince ourselves, it will be alright, when all the time the eventuality stares us in the face of knowing we can’t be together anymore. Her pain comes across and feels like mine when I have felt the heartache. The rawness of the hurt is forceful and hits you hard.
Every pain needs to be felt to be released to embrace the sweetness of healing. The writing echoes out every hurt you have ever felt and puts it onto the paper for you to feel it, read it, see it and then just let it go. For it’s not your fault or your imperfections or your being a woman who has led you to hurt. It’s when you allow yourself to feel, to revel in your womanhood, that you go through this turbulence but it’s to strengthen you, to test you and to show you what you are made of. So don’t be afraid to feel and then heal.
I recommend reading this new era poetry style of emoting strongly and with sketches that speak volumes on their own too. But be prepared for the gamut of emotions that will assail you as you move from the abuse to feeling love to breaking up and finally revelling in the healing. And if the men ask me if it’s too girly, my answer would be girly but extremely powerful in its expressions too.
Rating – 5/5