Why Milk and Honey Is the Perfect Summer Read

The official summer kick-off means beaches and mojitos for many people. For me, it’s more like facing the pile of books I have been putting off since winter break. My original reading list started with Paradise Lost, which was going well until I realized it was probably too dense to awaken my dormant, oversaturated literary mind. It was then that fellow Nerd, Caritza, pointed me towards Milk and Honey, a collection of very simple, yet poignant poetry written by Indian author Rupi Kaur.

If you’re not a poetry person, let me preface this review by saying that even as a writer and English major, I was once not a poetry person myself. Even though things have changed since those dark ages, I can still discern between an enjoyable, user-friendly poetry collection (as is this one) and a thesis-worthy one. Milk and Honey takes forty-five minutes to read and about a week to digest. What I mean by digest (before you run away) is that the short snippets of truth that are thrown at you in this collection will haunt you, creep up on you, sleep with you, and never really leave you.

Divided into four sections (The Hurting, The Loving, The Breaking, and The Healing), Milk and Honey dabbles into the dark crevices of your heart through breathtaking single-stanza pieces (for the most part). Sometimes these lines have the ability to wreck you. Other times they have the ability to put you back together. In this dichotomy lies the brilliance of Rupi Kaur: taking her readers through an emotional rollercoaster while making sure to bring them back to shore safely and restored.

There is a tenderness and softness to how Kaur makes her own struggle available to her readers. The marked sections also come in handy upon a second or third reading (I plead the fifth) as readers can, in essence, pick their poison. While dark, Milk and Honey still remains a solid summer read, in part because of how quickly one can devour it, but mostly because of it’s beauty.

Below are some of my favorite poems in the collection (so you don’t have to take my word for it):

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For more on Rupi Kaur, visit her page.

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