Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

A New York Times Bestseller Credit: Emer Handly

Milk and Honey is a stunning poetry book written by Rupi Kaur, a Canadian writer of Indian descent. In the beginning, she posted her work on Instagram along with simple drawings which are a key element of her unique modern style. She uses lowercase letters, like in the Gurmukhi Script, to honour her culture. Rupi gained a massive following and decided to add another platform to share her message – she published a book of her poetry. Milk and Honey was released in 2014 and had such a profound impact that it is still being talked about across the world today.


When you open a poetry book, some expect tacky nonsense. Yet even for those of us who have more faith in the art of poetry this book was still a massive shock.


The book is split into four sections; the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. The hurting contains her more dark poems as she takes us through her experiences with rape, sexual assault and family issues. They are harrowing and deep.


“sex takes the consent of two

if one person is lying there not doing anything

cause they are not ready

or not in the mood

or simply don’t want to

yet the other is having sex

with their body

it’s not love

it is rape”


The loving lifts the mood of the book and we see Kaur’s positive side. The poems are sweet and romantic. This section gives the impression that she has found an amazing man who is the love she has been waiting for.


“he places his hands

on my mind

before reaching

for my waist

my hips

or my lips

he didn’t call me

beautiful first

he called me exquisite”


The breaking returns to a darker time in Kaur’s life. Kaur and her great love are no longer together and she is unequivocally heartbroken. The poems are full of melancholy, hopelessness and loneliness. You get a sense that her world has just been destroyed, but at the same time, she knows this man was not good for her.


“i had to leave

i was tired of

allowing you to

make me feel

anything less

than whole”


The healing sends the most powerful message; that even though you can go through horrible things in your life, it will get better. You will get better. The poems are empowering, full of hope and urge women to embrace themselves no matter what.


“accept that you deserve more

than painful love

life is moving

the healthiest thing

for your heart is

to move with it”


Rupi Kaur’s ‘Milk and Honey’ is stunningly raw and one of a kind. It is dark, vulnerable, honest, pure, uplifting and more beautiful than words can describe. This book will take you on an emotional journey that you will never forget.


“ you look at me and cry

everything hurts

i hold you and whisper

but everything can heal”

Rupi Kaur’s second poetry book “the sun and her flowers” will be released on 3 October 2017.

Emer Handly