2016 Reading Challenge Book 35 – Milk and Honey

Hi, Hey, Hello!

We are in the final 5 books of the year people.  Just gonna keep moving one book at a time and hope that I can get through this.

This is also my final book review of the year. Which means that there will be a catch up on the rest that I do finish in 2017. And so for my final book review of this very strange, hard to truly put into words 2016, I have a late entry into the reading challenge list:

2016 Reading Challenge, Book 31, Milk and Honey
2016 Reading Challenge, Book 35, Milk and Honey

I have heard things about this collection of poetry for pretty much the duration of my year and had filed it away as a book that I was going to pick up when I wasn’t quite so bogged down with other books that I was supposed to be reading. And then I made the mistake of dropping into Waterstones Piccadilly for no real reason other than the fact that I had to detour to Piccadilly Circus in order to get to Oxford Street and felt like it would be rude not to stop on by when I was so close. And well I ended up spending nearly an hour in there and bought 3 books (which actually only cost me £6 in total in the end, because I had a lot of points and a lot of stamps and ultimately I have a problem).

This book was one of them because I didn’t even have to search for it, it was just resting pretty on a display in all of its minimalist glory. It seemed like a sign because Don Juan is huge and I didn’t really know if I had that in me at this stage of the year. I will one day because I do really want to read it, but not in 2016.

So, basically I was in possession of this book and I then read it within 45 minutes. Which isn’t hard. It’s a short book of poetry full of relatively short poems. And damn did they know how to hit you.

Maybe it was the frame of mind I was in, maybe it’s because Kaur has a way with words, maybe it’s because everything was so damn simple that it just hit you just somewhere quite deeply. I don’t know what it was, but I do know that the further towards the end I got the more I kept sending pictures of them to my best friend while I was on the train because I just needed to share it with someone.

I read a lot of reviews about this and a lot of them just said that it wasn’t poetry it was just basically a sentence spaced out weirdly and none of it rhymed and well I’m an English graduate, the way that this was structured was actually pretty standard for me. And also, not all poetry needs to rhyme, I have mad respect for those who can do that, but I’m not all that fussed about whether it rhymes or not. There is not a right or wrong way to write poetry either to be honest, and no this isn’t the most traditional way to write poetry but it still packs a punch the same way that a Tennyson poem would.

The collection is split up into 4 sections, Hurting, Loving, Breaking and Healing and it was the last two that really got me. They just had some beautiful poems in them that really resonated with me. That was definitely to do with my state of mind at the time as I was reading, but also they resonated because I’ve done the whole breaking thing and then I’ve done a version of the healing thing before and they were both hard and Kaur almost put a most of the feelings and emotions that are felt during those two periods of time/life/whatever into words and it somehow provided this element of clarity to everything and it all felt like some clouds had broken and the sun was finally streaming through.

The collection can get quite graphic at times and it does deal with some heavy hitting themes, so if that isn’t your thing than it might be best to err on the side of caution, but it was also refreshing to see such an upfront approach to sensitive topics. It sort of forces you to address these issues and think about them in some capacity and that isn’t usually a bad thing.

On a whole though, I would strongly recommend it. It’s a relatively easy collection to read in short bursts, but it is full of so much great imagery and even though there are so few words a lot of the time they all hold so much weight to them and usually always make an impact (that could however just be the English graduate in me who is impatient to unpack the language and get down to the nitty gritty symbolism).

4/5 stars

Parentheses count: 2. See you tomorrow! And I leave you on this Monday afternoon with this:

‘the thing about writing is

I can’t tell if it’s healing

or destroying me


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Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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