With incredible poetry that is both lyrical and meaningful, poet Rupi Kaur has easily risen up as one of the most prominent writers of our time since she first published her work in 2014.
Kaur self-published her first book “Milk and Honey” in 2014 using Amazon’s self-publishing platform. The book was a collection of her poetry, which mainly focuses on topics such as love, femininity, and the struggles that women face in society today. She specifically talks about “taboo” topics such as menstruation and sexual violence.
The anthology is broken into four parts: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. Her poems are also accompanied with little sketches by Kaur.
The poetry itself follows a similar format throughout the book. Kaur’s style of writing involves all lowercase letters, no punctuation except for periods, and frequent line breaks.
With her work also posted on Instagram, Kaur’s poetry slowly began to gain popularity following the release of “Milk and Honey.” In 2015, publisher Andrews McMeel published it, and the book received even more attention.
One contributing factor to Kaur’s sudden fame was an image Kaur posted on Instagram in 2015. The image, which she posted to break the idea that menstruation should not be talked about, showed Kaur lying in bed, menstruation blood on her sweatpants and bed covers.
Instagram removed the image twice, and Kaur responded with a passionate post on Facebook where she criticized Instagram for removing her post. Instagram eventually relented, apologizing to Kaur and allowing the post on their social media platform.
The attention to the post brought more attention to Kaur’s Instagram and, in turn, the poetry she had posted on it.
All in all, the #1 New York Times Bestseller “Milk and Honey” has sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide and was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 77 weeks.
There were some, however, who criticized Kaur’s poetry, calling it too simplistic and bordering on generic statements broken by line breaks. Kaur’s fans say that these critics fail to understand that poetry is unique to the poet and that short poetry does not make it any less insightful.
Freshman Keerthana Talla says, “Kaur’s poetry is so short, but those few lines hold so much meaning. Her words make me dive deeper into my thoughts and help discover more about myself, since her work is so relatable.”
Kaur herself says she writes in this way to make poetry more accessible and comprehensive, unlike other poets who use sophisticated language and long prose to illustrate their points.
Kaur continued posting her poems on her Instagram account, her follower count increasing by the day, until the long awaited second poetry anthology titled “The Sun and Her Flowers” finally released in October 2017.
This second poetry collection remains quite similar to the style of writing in “Milk and Honey,” with simplistic typography and sketches that further drive home the meaning behind Kaur’s poems.
This anthology is also divided into parts: the wilting, the falling, the rooting, the rising, and the blooming.
Another New York Bestseller, “The Sun and Her Flowers” was just as, if not more, successful than Kaur’s debut. Her fans are more than satisfied with her new work, which remains just as accessible, yet meaningful, as ever.
Sophomore Rachel Modi says, “As much as I enjoyed ‘Milk and Honey,’ I have to say that ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’ was much more insightful and well-written. It’s great to see how much Rupi Kaur has improved as a poet in the last few years.”
With all this success, it is easy to see how Kaur rose up to fame at the young age of 25.
Kaur was born in Punjab, India in 1992. When she was three years old, her family moved to Canada. There, she had to learn how to speak English while her family moved around until finally settling in Ontario, where Kaur still resides today.
Kaur began writing poetry in high school and has pursued the art diligently ever since. At the peak of her career, she does not have any plans to stop any time soon. Kaur has stated that she definitely plans to continue writing poetry, and she would also like to explore writing a novel and even songwriting.
How do you feel about Rupi Kaur’s poetry?