This month is self love in honor of February and the special date in it, Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t really think of a book I wanted to do a review on a book that was about self love until I thought of Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. She covers many themes in her book of poetry including cultural standards, abusive relationships, family, healthy relationships, love and of course self love. The book has so many meaningful messages and we go on a roller-coaster of a journey. I chose to review this book because self love doesn’t come easy; it’s a long process that I’m still going through. I could’ve chosen a book that offers many tips on how to live your best life, but I somehow liked how much we could relate with Rupi as we go from hurting to loving to breaking and to healing. The first section, the hurting, goes through the struggle of not having your own voice. The poems range from not having supportive parents and men who think they can take advantage of a woman and tell her what she can and can’t do. We feel the pain from the poems and for some readers, they can relate. All of her poems are so raw and powerful, that they were on my mind for quite some time. There were some poems which got me in the feels like ‘she was a rose in the hands of those who had no intention of keeping her’ and ‘there is no bigger illusion in the world than the idea that a woman will bring dishonor into a home if she tries to keep her heart and her body safe’ as well as ‘you were so afraid of my voice I decided to be afraid of it too’. I liked them because sometimes people think they’re superior to others and that means that you don’t have the right to speak your mind. As well as this, standing up for yourself and protecting yourself is often seen as a crime. I’ve seen women frowned upon because they’re defending their name. It’s not right that they’re getting punished for bringing ‘dishonor’ into a home if they defend themselves. The next section, the loving, talks about how strong mothers are and dates that care more than a woman’s body. Three favorites of mine from this section are ‘I am learning how to love him by loving myself’ and this is part of a poem ‘the type of lover who hears me even when I do not speak is the type of understanding I demand’ and ‘you’ve touched me without even touching me’ They are all tender and personal, each carrying their own message. I liked how she understood that you can only love others until you love yourself. I liked how she describes the perfect partner, someone who is able to understand all your needs.
The breaking talks about people who mistreat her. It talks about dark matters such as abusive partners and they’re all so brutal and vulnerable. ‘When you are broken and he has left you do not question whether you were enough the problem was you were so enough he was not able to carry it’. I liked this poem as the person realises that they are enough and that’s okay. ‘It must hurt to know I am your most beautiful regret’ ‘I didn’t leave because I stopped loving you I left because the longer I stayed the less I loved myself’. These two poems are so beautiful. It shows that self love and care should always matter. No one should make you feel that you aren’t enough.
The last section, the loving, had so many amazing doodles and poems. I wish I could talk about them all. However I’ve picked two that I want to leave you all with. ‘if you were born with the weakness to fall you were born with the strength to rise’ and ‘you must enter a relationship with yourself before anyone else’. I won’t bother explain more about how they both have an inspirational message because I think it’s quite clear.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog post, despite it being long. Others have easily critised her book, but the book has a significant purpose and message within it.
Let me know your thoughts!