It was International Poetry Day recently, so I thought it was a good time to pick up a copy of Rupi Kaur’s second published collection of poems, The Sun and Her Flowers.
I loved Milk and Honey, a study of the beauty and pain of our relationships, especially our relationships with our bodies as women. I enjoyed the accompanying illustrations as well. I had high expectations for this second collection, which was broader and more political in scope… Two new foci emerge in this collection – the role of her mother in her life, and an emerging sense of herself as part of a history of immigration.
But perhaps this was too much of a good thing. There weren’t as many stand-out for me in this one (which is not to say there weren’t some wonderful moments!) and at times, I struggled with the voice and tone.
Nonetheless, Kaur remains one of the most powerful modern poets and well-deserving of her success. Get a little taster of this collection here.
When I heard that one of the nominees for the Man Booker this year was a collection of poetry, I was surprised. How can a collection of poems compare with some of the rare and beautiful stories that have taken the title before?
But Milk and Honey is exceptional. Every so often you pick up a volume of poems and feel like the poet is speaking your language. Rupi Kaur is such a poet for me. Concerned with themes of love, loss and feminism, almost every page of poetry was relatable and exquisite – from the short four-line poems to the longer epics charting whole relationships. I have included some in this review just so you can experience it yourself.
I was inspired by this collection – and have thus made two promises to myself. The first is to write more poems – because if a volume like this can have this impact on me, then maybe poetry is worth pursuing. Secondly, I will pick up any volume of poems that resonates with me like this.
I haven’t read the title that eventually won – Lincoln in the Bardo – but I have picked up Kaur’s second volume of poetry. And that says something powerful.