Rupi Kaur has something to say to women and she uses poetry to say it.
She writes, “what’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn?/ that since day one. she’s already had everything/ she needs within herself. it’s the world that/ convinced her she did not.”
In 2014, the 23-year-old self-published a book of poetry, prose, and illustrations called milk and honey. After the book received great acclaim, it was released by Andrews McMeel Publishing and has been a bestseller since. Her work deals with the experiences of abuse, pain, loss, and love, all from a feminine perspective. Her raw, bold voice is one that every woman should read for a few reasons.
She teaches versatility.
According to Kaur’s website, “Her passion is expression. She just uses different mediums at different times to do so.” Kaur’s writing often blurs the lines between poetry and prose, and her book includes illustrations that help to tell the story of each piece. Kaur is also a photographer and videographer, using visuals to get across her aminist ideas. For many people, this interest in multiple mediums might result in an unfocused result. That is not the case for Kaur. Rather than scattering her energy between all different projects, Kaur demonstrates how different pieces can be stitched together to create one unified message. Kaur takes her poetry and her illustrations and her photography and combines them to create her voice. It shows all that she can be, and all that women can be.
She teaches vulnerability.
Kaur writes about being mistreated and harassed. She writes about the difficulty of being a woman of color. She writes about the frailty of relationships. She writes about pain. And writing about pain is one of the scariest things to do; ask any writer. But, Kaur doesn’t shy away from that fear and, in fact, she finds the beauty and strength in sharing honestly. By making herself vulnerable, Kaur makes herself human, which makes her work all the more relatable. Recently, Kaur shared with her followers that she is taking a short break from writing: “the writing doesn’t need me right now. i need me.” People often don’t want to admit weakness, and yet Kaur doesn’t shy away from it because it’s part of her truth. It’s inspiring to see an artist who isn’t afraid to show that she needs time for self-care, and then actually takes that time.
She teaches resilience.
Even as she writes about pain, Kaur ultimately finds the sweetness in life – hence, the title milk and honey, which refers to sweetness of healing. Kaur’s poetry addresses the pain of life, but also how more often than not there is still the ability to survive and thrive. She writes: “how is it so easy for you/ to be kind to people he asked/ milk and honey dripped/ from my lips as i answered/ cause people have not/ been kind to me.”
Kaur celebrates sisterhood and strength. Her poetry inspires the healing of women from life’s trauma, whatever that trauma may be. To read more about Rupi Kaur, check out her website.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.