Book Review of Whiskey, Words and a Shovel

WWand a SRupi Kaur, Instagram and a whole bunch of other modern cultural factors have led to a resurgence in a certain kind of poetry. I picked up this collection by R H Sinn in a bookstore on a whim, having opened up a few of the pages and found some of the words spoke to my heart. And some of them do – stories of love, loss and the turbulence of an examined life. You can find some of the better ones attached to this review. You might also enjoy the deep feminism in them – showing that men too can write poems begging for other men to treat women appropriately.Sinn 2.JPG

But there is just such a lot of pain here. Too much for me, making this a dense tome to get through. I’ll appreciate the poems I found that spoke to me, but I don’t think I will delve into any more of his collections.

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Book Review of the Sun and Her Flowers

sun flowersIt 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 heartrelationships 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 anmother 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.