Poetry Book Reviews

Milk and Honey

When I put out a survey on Goodreads asking my fellow users what poetry books I should read Milk and Honey was overwhelmingly recommended to me. I had heard the author’s name and seen the book cover but did not know what to expect when I picked it up. This has by far been one of the best book recommendations I have ever received, so thank you to all the lovely bloggers that brought the book to my attention!

“you tell me to quiet down cause my opinions make me less beautiful but i was not made with a fire in my belly so i could be put out i was not made with a lightness on my tongue so i could be easy to swallow i was made heavy half blade and half silk difficult to forget and not easy for the mind to follow”

Milk and Honey is an outstanding collection that strikes that perfect balance between pain and healing. The book has been divided into four sections, each detailing different phases of the author’s life and alternates between both the good and the bad experiences that shaped her.

The poetry is honest and really gave me a sense of who the author was, her personality, how she recognizes her own flaws and still chooses to love herself. There is a wide variety of topics from love, lust, abuse, family, bitterness, self acceptance, beauty, and camaraderie with other women. The book is personal, unapologetic, and most of all empowering.

Many of the pages are decorated with Kaur’s artwork and varied between simple line doodles and some beautiful sketches. The drawings and the format really give the book a style that is instantly recognizable and I found it to be aesthetically pleasing.

My only gripe with the collection as it is with what I’ve seen of the instapoet trend is that it can at times be overly simplistic, some poems consisting of no more than a single line. Easily digestible which has its advantages, but at times lacks nuance that would make some of the poems memorable.



Title: Milk and Honey
Author: Rupi Kaur
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Pages: 194
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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Synopsis
milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split 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.

4 Comments

  • Litha Nelle

    I’m glad you liked it too!
    I guess with me, I feel like some writers overwrite sections of their work, and that isn’t an issue with Rupi Kaur- she keeps things simple, and in some ways that makes it more accessible for people who wouldn’t usually read a book of poetry, much less a book. I must admit though, I read this exactly when I needed to read it, and that can make all the difference with me ratings-wise.
    Excellent review, Jamie!
    ~Litha Nelle

    • Jamie

      I think I read it at a good time as well having grown up with similar experiences and coping with the loss of my marriage. Even in Kaur’s longer poems I like that she’s very direct and each poem felt extremely personal. I already have a hold for her second poetry collection at my library and I’m excited to pick it up!

  • Jackie B

    It’s great to see a review for a poetry book during National Poetry Month! I haven’t read this poetry book yet, but like you, I’ve had many people recommend it to me.

    I am unfamiliar with the instapoet trend– can you elaborate a bit for me?
    Jackie B recently posted…Hiatus Update #3My Profile

    • Jamie

      I only recently learned of the term instapoet, basically modern poets that have mainly become popular on social media platforms like instagram. Rupi Kaur is one of the most popular of the group.

      From what I’ve seen many use a similar format, all free verse, extremely short, lower case and usually oddly spaced. Many of them also seem to focus in on various women’s issues.

      I didn’t even realize that it’s national poetry month! I’ve been reading almost nothing but poetry this year, so I’ll have quite a few poetry reviews lined up in the new couple of months.

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