I used to hate poetry. Absolutely and completely hate it. Partially because every single poem that we studied in school was so thoroughly analysed and dully explained over and over again, and partially because I – wrongly – considered it the untalented author’s crutch. Whoever’s not talented enough to write a full-length novel opts for the easy way out and writes poetry instead. Seems simple, right?
Yeah, I was wrong. I started reading bits and pieces of poetry that for the first time seemed meaningful, inspiring. It was no longer the boring analysis that I was used to in class; it became something more, something that had a life of its own, a soul and a voice that actually spoke to me. And for the first time, I realized that literature and poetry are so utterly different.
Reading and learning to appreciate poetry is honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. And that’s because it brought Milk and Honey to my attention, a collection of poems and drawings that is life changing. Rupi’s power and raw emotion are mesmerizing. She is unapologetic, she is blunt and honest; every single one of her poems (no matter how small) holds a piece of my heart.
I loved how her book was equally dedicated to trauma and healing, loss and love; it felt so balanced, so natural. Some of her poems had so much emotion within them it was almost hard to read and in many occasions I found myself taken aback by her sheer amount of talent and strength as a writer. Milk and Honey feels more like a journal than an actual book. Her thoughts, her poems, her illustrations make it so. It inspired me to use it as a journal of my own, filling the margins with my personal doodles or poems and thoughts. Usually, I’d hesitate to do so, but I don’t think she’d mind.
*Trigger warnings for r*pe and ab*se mentions*