I have called this post a review but really this is just a post expressing my love for rupi kaur and her second collection of poetry the sun and her flowers. So to begin this is a book I wish I’d had since my late teens. It manages to capture the experiences and emotions that I didn’t know how to express or understand that come with growing up, dealing with heartbreak, and love yourself for who you are. Heck I still don’t understand a lot of what I feel or why, I don’t think I ever will but it is poetry collections like this that make it easier to comprehend what you are going through or have been through and the way it affects the ways in which you think and behave.
I don’t know why it has taken me so long to write about this book because like her first collection milk and honey it is a collection I keep coming back to where I have my favourite sections or poems depending on how I am feeling on any given day. It is a book in which I find solace, joy and community. I love the way she has progressed as an poet since her first release. So before I write several thousand words on why I love this woman I am going to talk about my four favourite poems from the collection as of the time of writing, it does change every time I pick the book up again.
I’m pretty sure this is something that will resonate with readers everywhere, but I first read when I was trying desperately not to admit that I was falling in love with both myself and the person I am becoming but also the person who was with me at the time. I am still in the process of falling in love with the little things life has to offer me, but this poem always rings truest in those late night silences and early morning giggles as you wait for sunrise under the fading stars.
‘all you own is yourself’
– what I would consider to be a universal truth
I don’t have a direct response to this poem just a series of idea I have written in my notebook about it:
‘… even when it feels like the world wants you to ‘own’ other things or have emotional/ideological influence over other to fit a certain worldview or behave in a certain manner you have to remember that that is not a power you have or should have…
… this idea is harmful so the promotion of self ownership is a positive one. Allowing yourself to just be. To grow next two sharing the sun instead of reliant and intertwined with others and their ideas.’
There is something to be said for missing other people. But sometimes you miss a past version of yourself, or who you were when you were with someone who has vanished from the pages of your life. Missing someone with your heart, mind, body, and soul is never going to be easy and while it can happen at any point for thousands of reasons knowing you aren’t alone and finding solace in poetry will always be a comfort to me.
I have been lucky enough not to have suffered too many heartbreaks along the way to being 21, but I know the heart must be strong to keep beating when the mind is telling you that you won’t make it through the next hour let alone the rest of your life.
(All the pictures of the poems are from kaur’s instagram page, which you can find here)