“it is a blessing
to be the color of earth
do you know how often
ﬂowers confuse me for home”
Following the massive success of “milk and honey” (released in the year 2014), the India-born Canadian author and illustrator Rupi Kaur had difficulties in starting the next collection of poetry for months, as nothing she wrote met her expectations. Nevertheless, this second collection of her poems was released in 2017 by Simon & Schuster.
“the sun and her flowers” has featured in the top ten of New York Times’ best sellers’ list and has already sold a million copies worldwide.
In this book as well, Rupi has written exclusively in lowercase with only period for punctuation. The illustrations done by her in this book underline her sincerity for her work.
The book is light-colored, coarse-textured with a drawing of leaves and ﬂowers on the front and the back cover.
This collection of poems is divided into 5 chapters, each reﬂecting a different theme while being tied with the eponymous ﬂoral theme. Like in her previous book, each part follows the previous smoothly, and eloquently expresses the intended emotions.
wilting is about the hardships of a breakup, and the sorrow and disparity that follow.
i stuffed a towel at the foot of every door
leave i told the air
i have no use for you
i drew every curtain in the house
go i told the light
no one is coming in
and no one is going out
falling canvasses everything that affects our self-belief and makes us doubt our self-worth, including depression, sexual assault, conforming to beauty standards etc.
i hear a thousand kind words about me
and it makes no difference
yet i hear one insult
and conﬁdence shatters
In rooting, Rupi exclusively talks about her family, her mother and her lessons, immigrants and their struggles in a foreign land.
when it came to listening
my mother taught me silence
if you are drowning their voices with yours
how will you hear them she asked
when it came to speaking
she said do it with commitment
every word you say
is your own responsibility
when it came to being
she said be tender and tough at once
you need to be vulnerable to live fully
but rough enough to survive it all
when it came to choosing
she asked me to be thankful
for the choices i had that
she never had the privilege of making
rising is about love and relationships, and signifies that the emotion of love is necessary for everyone to grow.
god must have kneaded you and i
from the same dough
rolled us out as one on the baking sheet
must have suddenly realized
how unfair it was
to put that much magic in one person
and sadly split that dough in two
how else is it that
when i look in the mirror
i am looking at you
when you breathe
my own lungs ﬁll with air
that we just met but we
have known each other our whole lives
if we were not made as one to begin with
Self-love, being comfortable in one’s own skin and feminism are talked about in blooming.
on the sacrifices
of a million women before me
what can i do
to make this mountain taller
so the women after me
can see farther
The collection is purposefully and articulately organized.
A message that stands out is that for anyone to rise and bloom after falling and wilting, one must root firmly first; and that it a natural process, as natural as the blooming of a ﬂower.
Rupi is a conjurer as the resonant imagery of her simple words force the readers to reflect and introspect.
Her ability to address a broad spectrum of human emotions and experiences by her poems is exemplary.
Her poised and down-to-earth writing oozes inspiration and hope.
However, her work is not everyone’s cup of tea, which, to a large extent, is because of her writing style and her command of the free verse. Those who connect with her style of writing will ﬁnd this collection as appealing as the previous one.
Ameya Rating: 3.5/5