Today, I choose to review a poetry book.
I heard a colleague speak about the book a few months back and I was curious to read. I was also intrigued by the controversial feedback this book got as I looked it up and the author: Rupi Kaur.
What the book is about
This is a modern poetry book in English written by an India-Canadian young woman (she is in her mid twenties).
The book is comprised of four sections
The hurting. The loving. The breaking. The healing
I will be briefly writing about each shortly. Most poems are accompanied by ink drawings done by the author herself. It was worth noting that the book is written in lower case defying grammatical rules – this is only a reflection of the content of the poems (in my opinion!).
The first part is concentrated on the author’s experience in emotional hurt. She focuses on relations between men and women. This part also speaks about sexual abuse and ethno-cultural challenges.
The second part continues the talk around relations between men and women. However, the author is more positive. She celebrates love, tenderness, and sensitivity. It is clearly noticeable that this part is derived from the first one.
As for the third part, it is a collection of poems and prose about relations coming to an end. The question that I asked myself as I reached the third part was whether the author was speaking about the same relations across parts. The author seems to struggle between missing her man and losing him.
Comes the final part which is about recovery from various sorts of breakups, deception, loss, and more. As much as the author still speaks about self-doubt, she focuses more on self-worth.
What I liked
I am a big fan of strong, bold, and talented women. Kaur is surely one of them.
As I read her book, I felt that she dares to write what all women feel. The book is raw and audacious.
It reminded me of the books of a celebrated Lebanese writer: Joumana Haddad (she primarily writes in Arabic).
I personally related to the writings of Kaur. They are easy and simple yet realistic and deep.
What I liked less
In my opinion, this is a book worth reading both for men and women. It is the kind of book you read in a single sitting. However, you go back to it to realize two things
You are not alone in what you went through. Someone somewhere is saying what you are struggling to formulate
You feel stronger after reading this collection.
Nevertheless, I would still want to share some of the views of readers who received the book with criticism. Some articles mention that Kaur’s work is plagiarized. Some others refer to the book as InstaPoetry. Many did not like called her collection as “cheap shots”.
I think that these are “normal” reactions. Kaur dares. Watch her read the poems here.
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