Book Review: “Milk And Honey” by Rupi Kaur

Cover of "Milk And Honey" by Rupi Kaur.
Cover of “Milk And Honey” by Rupi Kaur.

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reading “Milk And Honey” by Rupi Kaur! This isn’t the first poetry collection that I’ve read by her before since I previously reviewed “The Sun And Her Flowers.”

Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“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. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. ‘milk and honey’ takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.”

Content Warnings:

This poetry collection contains explicit descriptions of sexual assault, abuse and harassment, rape, mentions of sex, sexism and alcoholism. The collection also contains illustrations, and some of them are sexual in nature). If you are uncomfortable with any of this content, you might want to skip reading this one.

Overall Thoughts:

I thought that this collection had an interesting way of organization. The poems are divided into several themed sections. Each section encompasses a specific idea. The overall writing of the poems themselves, made it hard to distinguish any poems that I enjoyed. All of them were written with similar lowercase “i”s for the speaker addressing themselves. On top of this, many poems lacked any punctuation use if at all. This made many of them feel like I read the same poem over and over.

Some of the imagery in the poems made sense and sounded unique. However, many others felt too simplistic and/or to-the-point, making them easily forgettable. I also thought that some of the poems in the collection’s section “The Breaking” felt more like prose diary-themed entries than poetry.

All of the imagery is not helped by there being no obvious titles for any of the poems. There are little-to-no indications as of how long each poem is, since there are no page-breaks or spaces. As consequence of the lack of titles and indicators, I felt that some of the poems were meant to be separate, small poems. However, the way they were laid out felt like I should read them as large, long poems that kept changing topics. I found that confusing as a reader. The illustrations in the collection don’t add much to the poems themselves except for one or two, either.

Overall, I’m rating this poetry collection 1.5 out of 5 stars!

“Milk And Honey” is not my favourite collection from Kaur, and if you’re reading her work, I recommend “The Sun And Her Flowers” instead. However, please be warned that “The Sun And Her Flowers,” like “Milk And Honey” also contains much description of many of the things I listed in the content warnings section of this review.

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: “Milk And Honey” by Rupi Kaur

  1. Thank you so much for writing this review! I love poetry, and I’ve gone through a lot of things that were in the content warnings. So, this might hit pretty close to home! I look forward to reading milk and honey to see exactly what you are describing!

    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad that you enjoyed reading this review, and I’m also glad that the content warnings were helpful for you.

  2. Sounds as though the author is being ultra poetic–I took a course once that wasn’t about poetry but ended up being about poetry and the thing I noticed at the time was how poetry can just deviated from literary norms like titles, punctuation, and just do what they like in a sense. I have to say…I kinda hate that. I prefer things a bit more traditional.

    1. I think Kaur’s writing style just isn’t just mainly my cup of tea with the constant lack of punctuation, titles, etc. I understand how some people like it (probably because it deviates from literary norms), but it’s fine to prefer a more traditional style as well. I’m glad that you enjoyed reading this review!

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