Saturday, February 10, 2018

Reader's Diary #1729- Rupi Kaur: Milk and Honey

I first heard of Rupi Kaur when Milk and Honey started making bestseller lists. As she and her poetry began to get famous, however, more and more critics came out of the wood work. And finally a third wave of attention came with a backlash against said critics for being anti-populist. This is a lot of attention for poetry and I just had to see what all the fuss was about.

I'm not anti-populist for the record. I can enjoy a pop song as much as some obscure indie world music. I also, however, don't subscribe to the argument that if something appeals to a multitude of people it must be good. And good is largely subjective anyway. Hell, even the definition of poetry is subjective.

As for me, I wasn't blown away. Some of the poems were decent with strong imagery, some compelling narrative, topical themes, solid rhythm, and interesting artistic flourishes in terms of line breaks, punctuation, and so on. Too often though they did not meet my personal definition of poetry feeling more like platitudes.

Of course, it clearly resonated with a lot of others and there are certainly worse diversions out there.

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