The book Milk and Honey caught my attention with its form of storytelling. Each page portrays very few words, but those words carry a deep, intense meaning behind them. It’s like one can almost really feel the agony that the writer felt while writing this. Someone can flip through the pages just by reading what has been said, but don’t actually understand the message that the author is trying to send. The book is sectioned off into four parts titled: The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, The Healing. Page 35 from The Hurting really stood out to me; it states:
“When my mother opens her mouth
to have a conversation at dinner
my father shoves the word hush
between her lips and tells her to
never speak with her mouth full
this is how the women in my family
learned to live with their mouths closed (Kaur 35).”
Kaur grew up in a household where her father was in charge of everything- he was the dominant figure or the person in charge. Her mother didn’t have much of a voice because her father always told her right from wrong even with the words that she spoke of her own. With that being said, I’m sure that a lot of women can relate to this hidden message due to its reference to domestic violence. Women tend to lose themselves or their voice when they are being abused. They keep quiet because they are told too; because they have lost connection of their own bodies due to it being taken under their own will. Kaur speaks about domestic violence because she has seen it and has been a victim herself.
Rupi Kaur was born in Punjab, India and moved to Canada at the age of 4 with her family. Her first talent was actually drawing which her mother inspired. English was not Kaur’s first language so instead she would draw. In 2013, she started sharing some of her work under her own name on a Tumblr page, and then in 2014 she took it to Instagram. She began to add little drawings to the written pieces to help elevate her words.
Poetry tends tells a story by capturing the moment as its felt. 24-year-old Rupi Kaur does just that in her New York #1 best selling book Milk and Honey that was released and published by Andrew McMeel Publishing Company in October of 2015. In the novel, she shares her experience of violence, abuse, love, loss and femininity. On October 3 of this fall, she will be releasing a new collection of poems titled The Sun and Her Flowers. On her Instagram page she releases bits and pieces of the new book to her 1.6 million followers. In the upcoming book, she talks about love in all of its form on how she lost it as well as how she gained it.
Here’s a sample of page 66 of an upcoming collection of The Sun and Her Flowers:
“They did not tell me it would hurt like this
no one warned me
about the heartbreak we experience with friends
where the albums I thought
there were no songs sung for it
I could not find the ballads
Or read the books dedicated to writing the grief
We fall into when friends leave
It is the type of heartache that
does not hit you like a tsunami
it is a slow cancer
the kind that does not show up for months
has no visible signs
is an ache hear
a headache there
cancer or tsunami
it all ends the same
a friend or a lover
a loss is a loss is a loss (Kaur 66).”
In this particular poem from Rupi she uploads it as a post on instagram, more like a sneak peak of what to expect from the new book. Here she talks about heartache and how there aren’t any signs to warn you when one is near. It just happens- just like that it is out of your control; something you didn’t see coming.
Kaur has also performed a piece called “I’m Taking My Body Back” which centers around her experience on sexual violence- this crime was committed on a car ride home.
You can visit Rupi Kaur’s Website here: Rupi Kaur
To Pre- order or purchase her new novel The Sun and Her Flowers visit here: The Sun and Her Flowers
To see her live performance of “I’m Taking My Body Back” in TED Talk click here: I’m Taking My Body Back
To read more about Rupi’s success read this article from the New York Times: Rupi Kaur is Kicking Down the Doors of Publishing