I’m not usually a “poetry person”. I enjoy writing poetry, but I don’t usually do it unless I have an extremely specific reason for doing so (usually birthday cards or class assignments). It was one of my favorite modules to teach my students, but reading it for leisure wasn’t my thing.
So why did I choose to read a book of poems? Well, I picked up Milk and Honey for three reasons. First, it was short. A shorter book means a shorter reading commitment if I didn’t enjoy it. (I’m one of those people that has to finish what I’m reading, no matter how long it takes or how much I hate it. I know, I need to work on that.) Second, it was highly rated on Goodreads. I don’t always agree with the masses, but a 4.28/5 star average after nearly 80,000 ratings is pretty high. Finally, it would fulfill one of the categories for a reading challenge I’m working on this year. I was looking to knock that category out early, and Milk and Honey was one of the books that many other participating in the challenge had enjoyed as well.
I read Milk and Honey in one sitting. I would not recommend that to you. Instead, sit and savor each poem. Now, I know that not everyone is a “poetry person”. Like I said, I don’t consider myself to be one. And I can totally understand those that are just not into the emotions involved in Kaur’s poetry, but I implore you just to give a few of her works a chance. I’m finding myself going back to her poems, so much so that I’ve written down or marked my favorite ones for quick and easy reference.
Kaur uses her poetry to survive the trauma in her life, like many poets do. Her poems feel modern, but they could be placed in any point in time. Many of them are geared toward women, but many of them also have a larger message that we all can benefit from.
You have to admit, that’s some pretty solid advice. There are lovely, yet simple hand-drawn sketches on the majority of the pages, giving a bit of a personal touch to the already personal content.
This collection of poems is nothing extremely profound, but it is fun to sit down with and contemplate. Most poems will take you less than 30 seconds (or even 10) to read. They are great little reminders to slow down and really think about what’s happening around you. This is perfect for those of you who, like me, like to collect quotes and stick them up as reminders to yourself.
In the end, poetry is extremely personal. How you feel about it is partly a reflection on your current mood, mindset, and situation in life. Milk and Honey may not be for you right now, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.
TL/DR: Try Milk and Honey as an easy way to try the world of modern poetry and see if you surprise yourself by your feelings about it.
Rating: 4/5 stars
The way to Alexandra's heart is through a great book recommendation.