Some black, some white, each page is adorned with the words and sketches of Rupi Kaur. Over four chapters, we read about “the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing.”
It takes about an hour to read through, but Milk and Honey is a strikingly rich book. Its simplicity gives it gravity: every poem, every word is heartfelt and genuine, an artistic wonderwall. Kaur already captivated an audience on Instagram with her clean-cut style, where short and sweet poems captured double-taps galore.
Kaur doesn’t write so much about her story and its details, which could easily become a sob story in itself, as she writes about violence; abuse; inner and outer demons. She writes more feelings--the pure joy, infatuation of love and heartbreak and its irresistible sweetness, which give rise to a revelation three chapters in. Everywhere is written an clear appreciation for love and life, and the capacity to feel.
There’s a unique symmetry, an ease with which Kaur weaves words. Her art reflects the same smooth skill, drawn in simple black pen. Under her poems, some sketches are tight and constrained, others freeform. The literal art, and choice of a simple typeface, allow the short, succinct poems to flow over your arms, deeply fresh and original. Her choice of a title, Milk and Honey, covered in black and white, is also apt.
And it’s not just love, which the thick, sticky “milk and honey” suggests: the novella is about men and women, female love, self-love, and pure inner beauty. While not in a blatantly political way, Kaur ties the unique to the universal. Kaur will touch the heart of every woman with her feminist, yet personal book. How wondrous and true--what milk and honey do.