I was never one for poetry in school but I’m learning that this has had much more to do with the sanitized selections my school made than poetry itself. This particular book of poetry has triggers for rape and sexual assault and I would say domestic abuse as well. Its also perfect for a single sitting read for anyone doing the Read Harder challenge this year. It’s my selection for Task 15. I could have taken longer in theory, but I was captivated from the dedication.
milk and honey is broken down into four chapters: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, the healing. Each one captures the emotion in its title. My favorites were the poems that were the length of a sentence and seemed so plain, but turned out so powerful. Kaur just lays it all out there and in just a few words conveys so much. I suppose that’s always the point of poetry, conveying a feeling in a few words instead of giving an explanation. Its the feeling that’s most memorable anyway, not the details. It’s very “show, not tell”.
The illustrations that accompany some of the poems were strange for me. They were complementary to the tone of the poems they accompanied but still hit me strange. I think they just reminded me too much of the old Shel Silverstein style. They weren’t necessarily offensive but I found some startling because of the way they contrasted with Silverstein. It ended up sticking out in a negative way for me, but it wasn’t all of them either. Many were simple and appropriate.
Altogether I loved this book and it could easily become a regular re-read for me. Its certainly short enough to peruse over and over again, like I do sometimes. This is a great book in general but my timing for reading it couldn’t have been better. I had saved it for National Poetry Month, which I had known as April, but I didn’t realize it is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I should have realized it, my job does yearly sexual assault training this month, but I didn’t. Its a perfect collection for sharing this month as it pulls the reader into the mind of a survivor. Don’t get me wrong, someone who has never been through it will not truly understand, but it opens the door to understanding.
As I mentioned above, I bought the book a while back and it’s also available from worldwide from several sources. Check out Booklikes options by clicking on the cover image or Goodreads by click here. I’m sure it’s also available from many libraries, so don’t be afraid to check there too!