Friday, January 12, 2018

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur


I'm honestly surprised by how popular this book is because not only is it over-hyped, it's just not a very good book at all, in my opinion. The poetry is so cloying and pretentious - just enough "unique" enough to be "special" but vague enough to be relatable. If I had to describe the style, I'd say it's a cross between fortune cookie messages & those weird 3AM posts that one weird friend you have on Facebook loves to post that are always a) calling someone out, b) posting about personal drama, or c) writing weird inspirational stuff inspired by their mood board on Pinterest.


THE PRINCESS SAVES HERSELF IN THIS ONE is written in a very similar style to this, and I reluctantly gave that book 3 stars because it felt genuine, and maybe even authentic, even if it was written in a style that I didn't like and felt juvenile. MILK AND HONEY, I'm sure, comes from authentic emotions and experiences as well, and while I can appreciate someone wanting to share those experiences and use poetry to heal, I, as a reader, am in no way obligated to like said poetry just because the intent behind it was important. If "intent" was enough to get five stars, the star rating system would be pointless, because I'm pretty sure most writers publish their books with the intent of success and acclaim.

MILK AND HONEY comes across as pretentious and unpolished - a dichotomy that should not be possible, and yet, in MILK AND HONEY, it is. The book also features some incredibly gross metaphors like "the goddess between your legs / makes mouths water" and "the very thought of you / has my legs spread apart / like an easel with a canvas / begging for art." Ughhhh, noooo. I can only imagine that the popularity from this poetry comes from accessibility and the format that seems so easy to copy that any young aspiring poet probably takes one look and goes, "oh, if this dreck can be published, maybe my dreck can be published, too!" The drawings are no better, ugly even, and look like napkin scribbles rather than actual art.

I didn't like this at all. Everything in it has been said before. I could write a longer review ranting more about taste, expectations, and Shel Silverstein, but I'm trying to cut back on swearing and brusqueness in reviews, so I don't think any more negativity is necessary. This author apparently has a pretty devoted following on social media, so I guess if you're into Tumblr feminism and line-break poetry (which seems to be the new trend), you'll probably enjoy this.

1 to 1.5 out of 5 stars

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