A Singular Talent and an Inspiration

Jeannie Schleppy, Staff Writer

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Rupi Kaur is an Indian-born Canadian poet. She is well-known for her book Milk and Honey, which was published in 2014. Kaur gained publicity in covering topics regarding abuse, femininity, self-care, love, and heartbreak. There has been a large debate on whether or not Kaur should be considered a true poet, and my answer is: absolutely. While her poetry does not meet the criteria of being “normal” or “basic,” she introduces a new genre of “instapoetry” which is social-media based and reaches younger audiences.

In addition to sending powerful messages through her social media outlets, her books speak volumes as well. In my opinion, Milk and Honey is a book of words to live by. The book is composed of poems that reflect the healing process, and with my previous struggles, it has helped me through a lot. As a senior in high school, I am going through a process of working, applying to colleges, and preparing for the next stage of my life. I am constantly in a state of change. Life is a series of chapters, and throughout my chapters, I have experienced loss, heartbreak, disappointment, love, and more — and Kaur speaks to my experience, as she does to to similar experiences others continue to endure,.

Although no two persons’ sties are the same, the subjects covered within Milk and Honey are universal. The experiences that we go through in our lives are not always picture-perfect, and are often hard to talk about openly. Kaur captures these experiences within her writing, not only allowing us to heal, but also letting us know that we are not going through these personal struggles alone.        

Rupi Kaur writes in such a tone that you feel as if you know her personally, like she is an older sibling or a friend. Just because her writing is short and minimalistic does not mean that Kaur is not a true poet. It is still incredibly touching to others, myself included. Some poems are meant to have some sort of hidden meaning, while Kaur’s are meant to be straight forward and reach universal audiences. Kaur additionally writes in all lower case letters and only uses periods as punctuation. She claims that the style reflects her worldview of equality. Every poet has their own style of writing; therefore, Kaur’s should be respected as well.

The dictionary definition of poetry is “a literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.” Rupi Kaur’s work can most certainly be defined as poetry because she does use a distinctive style in her writing. She writes in the style of “confessional poetry,” which is when the first-person speaker relates her own thoughts and experiences.  Her work is not difficult to understand, but that should not be considered a flaw.

Kaur also utilizes visual art in her poems, which are her owndrawings. The drawings complement the poems and give them a sense of originality, representing the situations and themes described in the text. Kaur also uses different motifs and symbols in her writing to convey her different ideas of love, loss, heartbreak, etc. After all, Rupi Kaur is not a New York Times bestselling author for nothing.

In my opinion, Rupi Kaur is considered a poet in my eyes for her style of writing, the devices she uses, and the impact that her works have had on me. I believe that she is an inspiration to many young audiences and women in general. She is outspoken and uses her voice to reach others in a new and compelling way, and it’s clear that millions of poetry fans want to read her work. I will continue to support her and the writing that she puts out.

If you are someone who has not read any of her books, I highly encourage you to do so. Rupi Kaur is definitely worth the read.