Milk and Honey; in-depth review

From the perspective of a reader, this book unravels, page by page, some of the many experiences that Kaur has gone through in her lifetime.

“Milk and Honey” is a modern work of poetry written by 29-year-old Rupi Kaur. A select few of the topics mentioned in this book could be ones to be cautious over, such as sexual assault and abuse. Otherwise, this book depicts many examples of “taboo” subjects that tend to be ignored in everyday society.

Such topics can be identified as certain intimacies, self-harm, abuse, womanhood, and the painful experience of  being silenced. The author brings light to many concepts that many people don’t have confidence in themselves to speak about. 

This book is structured in a quite unusual way, as it is separated into four different sections in place of the usual chapter format. The first section is labeled as “The Hurting”. This section consists of many depictions of poetry showing painful things that our author has gone through.

One excerpt from this part of the book states, “I flinch when you touch me. I fear it is him.” This is one of the shorter pieces of poetry, but accurately describes the main idea of this certain section. From my point of view, I see this as if Rupi Kaur has been through some form of abuse and is scared of touch because of the remembrance of the situation. What she communicated through this simple piece both saddens me and motivates me, as they had the amount of confidence to talk about it, and even put it in a book. Putting trauma in a book takes such a large amount of willpower and so much more and I deeply respect Kaur for this. 

“The Loving” is known as the second part of the book. In my opinion, this part of the poem is where your heart starts to pound in yearn for these feelings. I felt, on some level, a connection to the words Kaur had sewn into these pages long ago. They touched me in a way a book shouldn’t be able to.

The example ahead of this shows why it touched me so strongly. Kaur writes, “I need someone who knows struggle as well as I do. someone willing to hold my feet in their lap on days it is too difficult to stand. the type of person who gives exactly what i need before i even know i need it. The type of lover who hears me even when I do not speak is the type of understanding I demand. -the type of lover i need.” This speaks to me on many levels and may do the same for many others. Kaur has been through hardships and would want someone to support them, even when they didn’t think they could support themselves. 

The next part of the book is called “The Breaking,” my favorite part of the book. The breaking is also the longest section in this book, consisting of around 75 pages. This part of the book explains where the love Kaur was describing started to turn sour, and as the title states, it starts to break them.

The love becomes toxic and maybe even abusive. There are many written examples in this book that suggest both of these have the possibility to be true. An excerpt from this section of the book states, “I had to leave, I was tired of allowing you to make me feel anything less than whole.” This was Kaur’s way of explaining how exhausting the love had been getting, and how their ex treated them like they weren’t enough. 

This leads us to the last section, called “The Healing.”This section wraps up the whole book and leaves us with a positive vibe about the whole book.

It shows how Kaur has healed from all the things she has written about in this book. There are many examples of learning from others’ mistakes and becoming self-aware of the things she has been through. Ahead, Rupi Kaur tells us to let go in her own way: “do not bother holding on to that thing that does not want you. -you cannot make it stay.” This quote suggests that you shouldn’t hold on to what doesn’t need you. This may be a person, a job, an animal, a city, or anything else. Kaur put her experience into a simple quote, with few words she speaks an entire book. 

“Milk and Honey” helps many people to understand what is going through their heads. Many people – young adults especially – don’t know how to put their emotions into words; Kaur wrote this book to help her heart with expressing emotions, as she states before the book ever starts.

If I was in her position, this book would have helped me to release the burden of many moments and emotions in a healthy manner. Overall, I highly enjoyed this piece of poetry. The formatting, yet rare, calmed my mind and was a great choice for the organization of this book.

The separation between long and short poetry examples is very well done. The feeling of the whole book, from font to format, eased my mind and calmed me into a mood to read that type of book that covered less-than-calming subject material. Rupi Kaur is very talented, and I can’t want to read her most recent books.