A Love Song to the Broken: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

9 May


One of New York Times bestsellers “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur, is an outstanding understatement. If read with non-judgmental eyes – meaning that you do not go into reading it with any preconceived notion that it is not poetry, let alone be that it’s any good. Poetry can mean a lot to one and nothing to another. To my own discretion, I find that it has a powerful affect when it’s looked at through emotions.

The opening lines to the book are:

“my heart woke me crying last night / how can i help I begged / my heart said / write the book”

Already, a tone is set, a mood is shaped, and an opinion is made. Whether that be a good or bad one, the way one chooses to take in the rest of the book, in my opinion, will be determined by how they interpret those lines.

“Milk and Honey” is not only a collection of poetry and prose about survival, it’s also a love song to the broken. Yes, the broken. Not just the broken-hearted, or the misunderstood, or even abused. It speaks to the broken. Whatever that means to the reader is their truth.

This book calls to everyone, with its four chapters labeled, “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking”, and “the healing”. Each chapter is based upon different brokenness and therefore serves to speak toward a specific purpose. My favorite chapter is “the breaking”.

Also, if you notice most of the poems have no titles, they are all mostly “titled” according to whichever chapter they are associated with. Just as well as there are no capital letters within the book. Neither the title nor the author’s name is capitalized. This can be seen as a grammatical editing choice or a purposeful deterrence that is supposed to signify how one’s hurt or version of brokenness may not be relatable to another. Hence, everyone’s brokenness is neither less nor more important than the other.

It’s the kind of book, if you ever took writing courses in college, that slightly makes you resent yourself for not coming up with it yourself. Of course this comically ironic realization is my own personal view and opinionated emotion projected on it. It’s raw and uncensored-ship are just as the drawings within the book. No sign of an eraser used. Just streamline drawings – just as a streamline of consciousness.

Alluding to one of my favorite proses in this collection comes from the chapter “the breaking”. The opening line of said poem can be found on page 97 and it reads:

“did you think i was a city / big enough for a weekend getaway”

The rest of the poem goes onto juxtapose a city with a person. The imagery and the tone is what sets up this beautiful contradiction of metaphors having the capability of being literal depictions of what makes up one’s apparatus. But of course this is just my own emotional connection to this particular prose, and as the poem goes on, there are other particular depths within me that it reaches.

There isn’t enough I could say about this collection of poems and prose. All I can say is that it’s merited more than just a quick glance.

Written by
Sherissa Hernandez
Adult Programming Assistant

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