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Rupi Kaur is a Canadian poet, writer and activist. Her book ‘Milk and Honey’ was released late in 2015 and has been a gigantic success. Always encouraged by her mother to draw and paint, Kaur dangled in the art since very young. She used to write poems to her school crushes and to her friends as birthday presents. Kaur made art with her short poems and doodles.
Born in Punjab, India, Kaur emigrated with her parents to Toronto, Canada when she was four. Kaur is labeled an “instapoet”, she post her drawings and uses her poems as captions to the pictures. With her unique and accessible writing style, she drew attention and her number of followers skyrocketed.
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By then, Kaur was quite known in the Instagram world, but it was only after Instagram removed one of her picture deeming the content was inappropriate for the social network, she broke into the rest of the internet world. The controversial picture was of Kaur herself laying down in bed, her sweatpants and sheets had a period bloodstain on them. The picture was removed twice and Instagram suffered backlash being called sexist and misogynist. The social media network apologized and put the picture back into the writer´s page. Kaur released a statement through her personal Instagram account and was shared by millions on all social medias. “Thank you Instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique. You deleted my photo twice stating that it goes against community guidelines. I will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be ok with a small leak when your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified, pornified, and treated less than human.”
Milk and Honey is Kaur’s first book, an anthology of poems, prose and illustrations drawn by the writer. The book is split in four chapters: “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking” and “the healing”, each with a different theme. The book is short and the poems have only few lines. However, don’t judge a book by its size. Milk and Honey explores themes such as love, hate, abuse, rape, feminism and sexuality. It is powerful and sustains the promise to keep the reader hung on it. The poems are short, witted and raw; easy to come to mind and memorize. They are all very emotionally heavy, for the good and bad. Kaur succeed in making a book that could be compared to Virgina Woolf´s A Room of Her Own, it will soon became a must read for women everywhere. It comes to a point where the reader cannot know if the poems are about Kaur or about the reader themselves. Each chapter’s flow is subtle and light as Kaur guides the reader through her journey of self-hate, pain, acceptance, finding sisterhood and peace.
Kaur originally self-published the book on Amazon on 2014, but it became so popular that a publisher took it in and relaunched it on October 2015. As of October 2016, it sold over half a million copies and remained in The New York Times Best Seller List for over 8 weeks.