(“Tomorrow’s Voices Today“ is a new series curated by poet and educator Mike Sonksen.)
In today’s times, independence has shifted from a nationalistic right to more of a privilege that only the selected few are able to obtain. Partially due to not only the media but also societal teachings, independence for women meets at the contradictory crossroads. Meaning there are those that encourage the woman’s self-prosperity while others demolish the ideal for a woman to be more than the man’s accessory. As a woman myself, I understand that the free spirit of a woman has been an ongoing controversial argument. Amongst these two genres of people, the up-and-coming 23-year-old Canadian author, Rupi Kaur, has become the new face for women’s rights advocates as she gives new meaning to self-freedom in her bestselling book, Milk and Honey.
In her collection of poetry, Kaur shares her own life story through four stages: Hurting, Loving, Breaking, and Healing. By sectionalizing, Kaur is able to efficiently express her growth through each chapter. Like any other anonymous writer, Kaur leaves both her traumas and triumphs on the page; however, in her writing, she expresses vulnerability, which is just one factor that instantly sets her apart from other authors of her time.
Unlike most popular authors who choose to write in a fictional or pedantic style, this young woman openly leaves her heart through the word which is what makes her a more relatable author to the present generation and the ones that follow. As well as her raw emotion, Kaur’s novel possesses a visual aspect with her hand drawn sketches that litter the pages. From her portrayals of a pregnant woman to the planetary system, she is not only a verbal artist but also a physical one, which for readers like myself the usage of visuals allows the story to pop off the page giving it a more realistic vibe. Although Rupi’s writing style is one of simplicity, I believe it allows for the audience to grasp her poems with better comprehension and meaning. After all, the easier the better.
Overall, Milk and Honey is a must read for both men and women audiences because although Kaur’s work hits closer to home with young women, I believe it is equally as essential for young men in a misogynistic society to be open minded to the feminine perspective. In an era where men are shamed if they depict what are so called softies, we must teach through novels as these that it’s acceptable for one to get in touch with one’s feminine side. A distinct chapter that I felt made Kaur more of an authentic author would be the final one — “The Healing.” In “The Healing” — without giving too much away — praise for the individual and individualistic beauty are greatly emphasized throughout.
I like Rupi Kaur because she shares the teachings of self-love and acceptance which is a practice not too explicitly done in the literary field. If you’re an aspiring poet or just one who enjoys an exquisite read, I highly recommend the one of a kind Kaur for your reading pleasure.