Here are my thoughts on milk & honey. I’m trying out a new format for this review & would appreciate if you guys let me know if this is good or should I continue to write them as I usually do? Any suggestions would also be VERY helpful.
milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
Okay, so I have a lot of thoughts on this particular poetry collection before I get into the nitty gritty details. It is raw, organic & angsty. There has been quite a buzz about this in the YA book community for a while now & I just had to indulge. The cover is beautiful and the poems are also accompanied with art work relevant to said poetry throughout the book. When I was browsing reviews on Goodreads I realized that contrary to what I had thought, there was a lot of mixed reviews. So basically, avid poetry readers said that this was not poetry, but ‘Tumblr quotes.’
Now, I’m not someone who’s not open to new things, so the thought of poetry not being in a conventional poetry form doesn’t really bother me as such. But I would also understand if an avid poetry reader might have problems with this book. I had some problems too and there were parts that I absolutely loved.
Milk & honey reads like a story, to put it simply. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, to be honest. It starts with Kaur’s childhood and gradually moves to her adult life. She talks about abuse, rape, women’s issues, heartbreak and finally healing. There are parts in the book where if you picked up a random poem and read it, it wouldn’t make sense unless you read the poem before that and so forth. Thing is, I would assume that with poetry, one complete poem tells a complete story. The subsequent poem could be about something different and it would make sense if you read it on your own. That’s not the case with milk & honey.
Also, there are parts that I’M SURE don’t count as poetry. Like there is literally a to-do list featured on page 142 that I felt was weird, to be blunt. Why is there a list of, albeit helpful, things to do in a poetry book? This is not to say that the book was not good. Because it was! It’s just that I feel like it didn’t quite fit under the poetry genre? I don’t know, I feel very ambivalent towards it. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, that our generation is sort of changing poetry. I read similar reviews about ‘The Princess Saves Herself in this One,’ on Goodreads, which is another poetry collection on my TBR. I think we might need a new genre for this sort of poetry, perhaps? Maybe there already is, I don’t know.
The things that I loved about this was that her work is so easy to read! I usually struggle to understand what the poet is saying, but that could also be because I don’t read a lot of English/American poetry? This would be an excellent place to start if you’re someone whose hesitant or intimidated by poetry. It’s easy to interpret and is very relatable. Her words have a way of invoking a lot of emotions and I admire that about Kaur as a writer. I also appreciate the addition of artwork, it made the experience so much more visually appealing and aesthetic.
Who I would recommend this for? New poetry readers, bookstagrammers, because lets be real here, the cover is stunning & even the poems are very instragrammable.
Last thing, some her content is very graphic & sexual, if you’re younger or if that’s something you don’t enjoy, keep that in mind. Trigger warning for rape and abuse.
Have you read this book? If so, I would love to read your thoughts in the comment section! I would very much appreciate if you could leave a poetry book recommendation for me as I’m new to the genre!