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Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genres: Poetry, Feminism
Part of Series? No
Goodreads Blurb: From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.
Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.
TW: Rape, sexual assault, racial discrimination, infanticide
Rupi Kaur’s first book Milk and Honey was the first modern poetry book that I read and I loved it. That book was a huge success. So when I found out about her new book I instantly pre-ordered it and when it arrived I read it immediately too (yes only the review is late 😛 ). I had really great expectations from this book as well, and I would say that though not AS GOOD AS Milk and Honey, it was quite close to it and I totally enjoyed it (enjoyed in a sad way? ). This collection is an extension of Milk and Honey.
If you are not familiar with Rupi Kaur’s work, then you would find these poems as just written sentences broke abruptly in between. But I guess, that’s the beauty of her writing? I really like how her words fit perfectly together in her poems. This poetry collection was however quite longer than Milk and Honey.
The Sun and Her Flowers is split into five sections: wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. Each section tackles a different theme. I love how she has compared each section to a flower’s life.
- Wilting deals with grief – when a flower is about to die.
- Falling is for self-abandonment – when a flower loses all hopes of living
- Rooting deals with honoring one’s roots – like a new flower preparing its roots to rise again
- Rising is for love – the flower is ready for living again
- Blooming for empowering oneself – flower blooming and living again
With each of these sections, Rupi has presented her own traumatic experiences. She is not shy about those experiences, rather she has written about them in a way that you would want to feel her pain. If you are an Indian or belong to a South Asian country, then you can relate to many of her experiences. Being an Indian, I perfectly related to the sections where she talked about infanticide and feminism, which are a kind of big issues here. She talked about her relationship with her mother. I loved the poems in which she talked about her mother and the struggles her mother faced. Those were my favourites I guess.
I have never been out of India so probably I can’t experience the exact emotions of an immigrant. But I guess, I can understand them and Rupi Kaur did a nice job in telling those immigrant experiences. She has added an entire section about immigrants and refugees. You can feel the depth of those and can actually relate to them.
Talking about the immigrant experience, she has told a lot about her mother’s journey. Many Indians go to other countries for work (especially the Punjabi community to which Rupi Kaur belongs). There is particularly a trend of marrying NRI(Non-Residential Indian) man. Those women, after marriage, often have to wait for their visas to arrive and they have to live separated for that time period. Rupi Kaur has perfectly described this experience of her mother. Also, she talked about the hard work an immigrant has to do in order to survive in another country.
she left an entire village to be his wife
now she left an entire country to be a warrior
and when the winter came
they had nothing but the heat of their own bodies
to keep the coldness out
Feminism has always been a big part of her poetry and this book was no exception. All that feminism talk actually make you feel motivated. I really liked how she talked about the women being oppressed in her culture (particularly in Indian culture). Those aspects that she talked about are very important to our present situation I guess. She included topics like rape culture, slut-shaming and how people often oppress the girl power. Some things can definitely offend you, but those are brutally honest. I loved the talk about female foeticide in India.
I love the illustrations. All of her illustrations combine so beautifully with her poetry. You will feel so many emotions at once.. sadness, love, frustration, anger, happiness, self-loathing..
Despite having all these positive points, I guess there were some problematic areas too. I felt that some of the poems were not original. I am not sure of this, but a few felt as if she has taken it from somewhere. Also, there is a lot of sex talk and a few such illustrations too. So if you are not okay with it, you should skip this. Also, I felt that a few poems about feminism, the body, the heartbreak, and self-love were repetitive.
This was really a beautiful and brutal collection of poetry. You will feel connected to Rupi Kaur, especially if you are an immigrant or brown-skinned person. It talks about so many different themes and will make you feel belonged. While Milk and Honey was focused on feminism and self-love, The Sun and Her Flowers is much more than that. And the metaphors using flowers is beautiful. If you have already read Milk and Honey then you should definitely pick it up for a different experience, and if you haven’t read her first book, then also you should pick it up for enjoying Rupi’s style of poetry.
The Sun And Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur is a different experience than Milk And Honey. It is much more than feminism and self-love.
Have you read this book or Milk and Honey?
What do you think of Rupi Kaur’s writing style?
Do you enjoy poetry in general?