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.