“i am water
to offer life
to drown it away”
I’m simply not the type of person who reads poetry. I never liked it in school and certainly did not enjoy it when I tried to read it again at a later age. So the encounter with Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur was somehow ill-fated from the beginning. I picked this book up because there was such a rouse over it on the social medias and I thought to myself “why not give it a try?”. And this is how the love story between poetry and a strong-headed but sometimes too emotional girl started.
I was swept away by how raw and strong this work of art is. I needed not more than an hour to read all of the poems – even if I had wanted to stop and devour them one after another, it would not have been possible. The words were so full of emotion and the meaning behind them is so important. You might ask to whom? To everyone. But especially to us women. Especially to women and girls who are still trying to find their way in this mess of a life. Especially to all of us who are still growing. Because the poems deal with so many important topics like trauma, love, loss, healing and femininity.
What I liked about Milk and Honey was the simple fact that it was so minimalistic – and I adore this kind of aesthetic. The cover and every second page were adorned with complimentary drawings. And the poems themselves were short, but incisive. They all told different stories but were all so fitting. Sometimes they were whispering, sometimes they were screaming at me. But all the time it was like they wanted to tell me that they know. That they had been where I am now. That they know how I am feeling. And a promise that this will be over soon.
What made me happy was the fact that I could actually recommend it to somebody – I want to tell the whole world about it, but that’s not what I meant. Since not many of my friends are from the reading folk, I was so much more impressed by the fact that my best friend wants to read it for herself after I told her about the book and showed her some of the poems. It fills me with honour and so much happiness that I cannot grasp it or put it into words.
“you were a dragon long before
he came around and said
you could fly
you will remain a dragon
long after he’s left”
You don’t know how much I love the above mentioned poem. After a time where I didn’t felt particularly strong or loved myself, this one spoke to me on a whole new level. It made me overthink myself and it had me smiling at the end. Because Rupi speaks true with that – I am strong without someone else and should not define myself by what another person says. I need to learn to believe in myself first. And that’s a pretty good lesson from a piece of literature I never intended to read. By now I am incredibly grateful that I decided to pick up Milk and Honey out of sheer curiosity and read it.
After I was heartbroken for the first time in my life – like my first real heartbreak – it wasn’t easy for me to recollect myself. I dealt with it for over a year and couldn’t quite quit the suffering I put myself in. But after reading Milk and Honey I am once again impressed at how wonderful literature can be and how much it can help in dealing with your life. I find myself picking up the book every now and then, sometimes even more than once on a notably hard day. I just flip through the pages, looking for some words that will comfort me. And I’m never let down, always drawing strength from them.
So this book is easily one of my favourite books I’d recommend to everyone who asks. It now has a place on my nightstand so I can grab it whenever I need it the most. I just want to thank Rupi for expressing her own feelings in words. For publishing this stunning book. For making me feel less alone with me feelings and more understood. Thank you for Milk and Honey.