Rupi Kaur is an Indian born Canadian poet, writer, illustrator, and performer. Milk and Honey is her debut book, and comprises a collection of poetry, prose and illustration. It was published in 2014.
The book opens with this statement: “My heart woke me crying last night how can I help I begged my heart said write the book”. The book explores the impact that Rupi Kaur’s experiences and relationships have had on her. It also includes her observations and realisations.
The book is divided into four sections: the hurting; the loving; the breaking; the healing. Her words are raw, confronting and provoking. Her illustrations reinforce the strength and uncompromising impact of her words.
This is not a gentle book of poetry and prose. It needs to be read with care and not, in my opinion, when the reader is vulnerable.
It is a book that has been astonishingly successful at a time when poetry is rarely on the bestseller list and is disappearing from our libraries. Why? The answer in part is because the subject matter is so familiar, and the style is so daring.
The answer can also lie in the fact that Rupi Kaur has used very modern and effective methods to get her message and her book out to her target audience i.e. via Instagram, social media events etc.
It is also a book that follows a very successful tradition i.e. the author drawing on their own experiences to communicate and connect with their reader.
It is a fascinating book, to be read with caution.