Rupi Kaur, whats the hype about?

 

milk and honey

Everyone seems to be excited for the release of Rupi Kaur’s second book ‘The Sun and her Flowers’ which becomes available to buy on the 3rd of October, not long now folks! So I thought this would be a good time to write an honest personal opinion of the writer that everyone is hyped about lately and her last collection of poetry.

If you’ve been on Instagram at all in the past year you’ll probably know who I’m talking about or will have at least seen the ‘Milk and Honey’ book cover on the feed of a woman on the edge of empowerment or possibly a breakdown (the two often link).

Now I’m going to start off with a bit of negativity, but stay with me (I’m a huge fan). When I first read her book I went into it with the mind of an English student. Scrutinizing and depicting every word. My first thought was that it wasn’t written very well. I stand by this. I don’t think she is ¬†particularly talented or that there is anything very outstanding about her style of writing or her use of language. Its also not very original (in my opinion of course). I think there are probably a lot of poets out there that are writing similar stuff of a similar standard. But then I guess you could say that with a lot of writing. But shes the one that made it and good on her. All of us writers are helplessly trying to get our work seen and shes managed it.

However saying all that, the simplicity of her work allows all readers to understand and really grasp everything she is discussing, which considering the nature of her work I think is really important especially for younger readers. And of course poetry isn’t just about long words or perfect layout its about the impact. Its about all the ‘stuff’ that’s being discussed within the context of the poem.

We need women to talk about real issues, now more than ever. We are a crucial time of the feminist ‘revolution’ in which we’ve achieved so much but its important we don’t let our successes become our downfall and become lazy in our fight for equal rights. Obviously living as a woman has become so much easier and our treatment has amazingly improved in recent history but we have a long way to go. This is why writers and artists like Rupi Kaur are needed right now.

We need to know we are a unit, having powerful women such as her give us a voice is empowering in itself. The issues she tackles are still approached with such reluctance, embarrassment and unease. Within her work Kaur zooms in on a lot of stigmatized topics such as sexual violence, racism and gender. She talks about love, heartbreak and growing up using a straight to the point approach.

I love her work for this reason alone never mind anything else I have to say about it. SHES TALKING. SHES BEING REAL. This is what we need. The more we discuss or open our minds to it all, the more accessible it becomes for women to approach others, to talk out about experiences and to ask for help because its okay to do so. It also allows us to feel more comfortable if people happen to approach us, because they are scary subjects, they are complex and often we need to be sensitive. But having a little slice of insight can help us become a little more ‘chill’ with it. It may just be a poem, but people are going through it every day so women, victims, readers being able to relate to something that is becoming so widespread is great.

As an English student I also love the idea that poetry has become ‘cool’ again and seems to be trending all over Instagram and twitter recently , if you look on hashtags on all social media you will find a lot of work from up and coming poets trying to get their work seen. Its still a struggle but its great that writers like Kaur are opening up the doors for the younger generation and showing new audiences that poetry can be ‘modern’ and ‘trendy.’ Its not all Wordsworth and Tennyson (although I think they’re pretty cool too).

So I will be waiting eagerly for her new book to come on sale (in fact I may even pre-order it right now) and I would recommend her last book and I’m sure I will her next to lovers of poetry, new readers or people that just want to know what all the fuss is about. Its perfect for on the go reading, although I ended up going through it in one sitting the first time.

Michaela Violet.

 

 

 

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13 Reasons Why

Everyones talking about it. The newest Netflix show to hit the headlines. But Im so confused…

Maybe im supposed to be confused? Because mental health can’t be placed under specific actions or words. It can’t always be specifically categorised…

But we didn’t really get to see Hannahs side of the story, not really. We heard her tapes, we listened as she said what she wanted to say.

But what about the days in which her depression stopped her from wanting to be near another human being? The days she couldn’t even be bothered to wash? Face the world? The days where she begged for help and not because she wanted to get back at someone? We never saw them…

I feel like we missed all that because the story line was too caught up on her revenge plan. Is this a missed opportunity for society to really see what depression and mental illness is really like?

Of course the series is calling at a younger target audience, so maybe it’d be too much to see, maybe the show wouldn’t be seen by such a huge audience if the reality of it all was actually shown? But surely we need to start showing younger people, making them aware of what may hit them at any point of any day? Because god knows, we dont do that enough. I remember sex ed in school, but I dont remember being told that one day you may wake up numb? One day you may not be able to catch your breath, because your anxious, worried about everything. The world is closing in on you. That is called a panic attack to anyone who isn’t aware. But how would you know?

But is it upto producers? Directors? Film makers? Maybe its upto everyone…

As critical as I am of the show, I think its great… It kept you watching, it made you care, it made you think.

That’s important here, this thinking, this discussion that has followed the shows release has allowed us to see that our actions and words do have consequences… That they can lead to the death of another. Its made us atleast question what we say to others, how other people are really feeling. So does it matter that it may not be a true depiction of someone’s battle with depression?

By the end of the show, I was mad at Hannah. I dont know if I was supposed to be feel that. I was mad because she’d done the same thing to everyone else as they did to her, even when she knew how it felt. In my experience when youve been through something so tragic, it makes you more understanding. But then Im only one person.. Everyone feels and experiences things differently.

I was mad that they felt the need for another suicide (attempted). I felt like Hannah was losing her protagonist role by the end of the film. But then again, why should her words go without consequences?

To be honest, im still not sure what to make of any of it, ive been left after binge watching the rest of the series yesterday with so many questions, so many thoughts… But then I guess that’s mental health and sometimes we just dont know how it is truly affecting someone.

Just think before you speak, because you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.