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Grace & Green Book Club: The Healing Power of 'milk and honey' by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur is a 21st century poet fighting for women to express themselves freely. She hit headlines in 2015 with a candid self-portrait in which a small amount of menstrual blood was visible on her track pants, catalysing a furore when Instagram deleted the portrait twice from her account for 'indecency'.

Born in northern India, the now Toronto-based author’s fight back went viral. Highlighting that the incident exposed a deeply-embedded, patriarchal fear of menstruation, Kaur stated:

“I will not apologise for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in underwear but not be okay with a small leak.”

Rupi Kaur Image

 Image of Rupi Kaur from Instagram @rupikaur_ (2015)

Now with over a million Instagram followers and over a million book sales, Kaur has built a loyal army of fans with frank and confessional poems that portray the challenges of womanhood.

milk and honey

milk and  honey is Rupi Kaur's collection of prose and poetry that looks at the beautifully honest experiences of a modern woman through the exploration of violence, abuse, love, loss and femininity. 

Split into four chapters, this self-published collection of poems and illustrations will leave you feeling emotionally ruffled. Healing different heartaches and dealing with different pains: the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing are four chapters that will take you through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and remind you that “there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.”

rupi kaur milk and honey back cover

The back cover of 'milk and honey' by Rupi Kaur, published by Andrews McNeel 2014

the hurting

A meaningful composition of personal tales and experiences encountered through life and travel; Kaur’s first chapter pulls out the deepest feelings of hurt. Reflecting on traumas such as rape and an absentee father, the hurting delicately mixes sourness with sweetness. By also showing gratitude for the strong female figure in her life, her mother, the hurting finds light where it’s needed and shows us that there is always a reason for survival.

the loving

“Loving you was like picking the thorns from a rose out of my fingers”, Kaur writes and perfectly encapsulates the essence of the chapter – loving someone so much it hurts. Reflecting on new love, unrequited love and the infectious – Kaur’s second chapter draws together the romanticism and desperation felt by many twenty-somethings with an aching heart. It’s the perfect balm to the pain of the previous chapter.

Image of Rupi Kaur from Instagram @rupikaur_ (2017)

the breaking

Breakups, heartbreaks and breakthroughs. Kaur’s third chapter illustrates a sadness after finding out about a boyfriend’s infidelity and being forced to end a relationship with someone loved. Resembling a new beginning and the need to come to terms with the challenges that have come before, this chapter resonates with many women around the world.

the healing

Making for a soothing and reassuring read after a rough day, week or year – Kaur’s fourth and final chapter teaches us how to heal. Inspiring confidence and resistance against the everyday criticisms of being a woman, the healing provides an uplifting end to the journey.

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur has just spent 52 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and Kaur is currently editing her second book, to the delight of her followers. We recommend her first book as the perfect read for when hope needs restoring.

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Follow Rupi Kaur on Instagram @rupikaur_
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Written by Louise Bonner, Edited by Skye Rytenskild

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