Review: milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose.
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It’s difficult trying to review this because every poem is extremely personal, tender and exquisite in its own way.

So I decided to feature some of my favorite ones:

“you tell me to quiet down cause
my opinions make me less beautiful
but i was not made with a fire in my belly
so i could be put out
i was not made with a lightness on my tongue
so i could be easy to swallow
i was made heavy
half blade and half silk
difficult to forget and not easy
for the mind to follow”

“i struggle so deeply
to understand
how someone can
pour their entire soul
blood and energy
into someone
without wanting
anything in
return

– i will have to wait till i’m a mother”

“when my mother says i deserve better
i snap to your defense out of habit
he still loves me i shout
she looks at me with defeated eyes
the way a parent looks at their child
when they know this is the type of pain
even they can’t fix
and says
it means nothing to me if he loves you
if he can’t do a single wretched thing about it”

“he only whispers i love you
as he slips his hands
down the waistband
of your pants

this is where you must
understand the difference
between want and need
you may want that boy
but you certainly
don’t need him”

“i am a museum full of art
but you had your eyes shut”

“people go
but how
they left
always stays”

“what i miss most is how you loved me. but what i didn’t know was how you loved me had so much to do with the person i was. it was a reflection of everything i gave to you. coming back to me. how did i not see that. how. did i sit here soaking in the idea that no one else would love me that way. when it was i that taught you. when it was i that showed you how to fill. the way i needed to be filled. how cruel i was to myself. giving you credit for my warmth simply because you had felt it. thinking it was you who gave me strength. wit. beauty. simply because you recognized it. as if i was already not these things before i met you. as if i did not remain all these once you left.”

“loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself”

“you tell me
i am not like most girls
and learn to kiss me with your eyes closed
something about the phrase—something about
how i have to be unlike the women
i call sisters in order to be wanted
makes me want to spit your tongue out
like i am supposed to be proud you picked me
as if i should be relieved you think
i am better than them”

“other women’s bodies
are not our battlegrounds”

“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 look at me and cry
everything hurts

i hold you and whisper
but everything can heal”

“how you love yourself is
how you teach others
to love you”

“what terrifies me most is how we
foam at the mouth with envy
when others succeed
but sigh in relief
when they are failing

our struggle to
celebrate each other is
what’s proven most difficult
in being human”

(Most of my favorite quotes were from the healing section, and it was pretty though trying to narrow it down to my preferred quotes.)

It also featured some pretty amazing illustrations, which I’m always up for in books:

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Overall, this collection was exquisite and exactly what I needed right now. milk and honey is definitely going to stay on my mind for a while, and I hope to come back to it time and again.

4.5 stars

 

Note: I’m an Amazon Affiliate. If you’re interested in buying milk and honey, just click on the image below to go through my link. I’ll make a small commission!

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