Milk and Honey is an inspiringly transparent book of poetry and prose by emerging author Rupi Kaur. The book was first self-published in 2014, but caught the attention of Andrews McMeel Publishing in 2015. Debuting on The New York Times bestseller list at number 10 in May of this year, it has remained on the list in the top 10 for the last 26 weeks.
The brutally beautiful poetry is split into four sections that describe the fear, love, loss, and empowerment the author felt over the years. Adding to the uniqueness of the book, Kaur also includes original sketches along with most of her poems that parallel her raw emotions.
Kaur captures the reader’s soul in the first few lines of her book as she aptly describes the pain of abuse, the joy of engulfing love and so much more. Even if the reader cannot relate to each of Kaur’s experiences, so many of her lines hook into the doubts and fears we all have. In the section entitled “The Breaking,” Kaur poignantly describes loss as she writes “people go/ but how/ they left/ always stays.” And though much of the book portrays the pain of being human, she leaves her readers with a strong sense of hope in the final section, which she calls “The Healing.” Not only does she talk about her own personal healing, but she also encourages her readers to love themselves and each other. Near the end of the book she writes “my heart aches for sisters more than anything/ it aches for women helping women/ like flowers ache for spring.”
Her style is introspective, therapeutic and inspirational. The poems and sketches make for a quick read that stick in your mind and in your heart long after the pages have fallen from your hands. A powerful read from start to finish, it is not difficult to see how this book has remained on the bestseller list for so long.