The Sun and Her Flowers Review
By Zuha Jaffar
When I bought Rupi Kaur’s first book, Milk and Honey, I luckily finished it after one day because right after buying it, my mother was all of a sudden interested in the things I read. After turning to one page, she took it away because it was “too inappropriate for me to read.” I was furious, she knew I had read worse. But I wasn’t mad because she said I was too young to read it, I was angry because that book was one of the most touching pieces of writing I had ever read, and it was so easily ripped away from me.
Known for her beautiful and raw poetry from Milk and Honey, Rupi Kaur has come back with its companion, The Sun and Her Flowers. I had never really been into poetry, but after reading her first book, I knew I had to get the second book. I was sort of skeptical about reading it, as I was sure it wouldn’t live up to Milk and Honey. However after finishing the The Sun and Her Flowers in two days, I realized that it was just as emotion-filled, and heartfelt as her first book.
Unlike her first book which was split into three parts, The Sun and Her Flowers is split into five parts; wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. Each of these parts have dozens of different themes scattered within their words. Though this book has been labeled a companion to Milk and Honey, it breaks away from the topics talked about and focuses more on Kaur’s life and experiences. It talks about growth and identity, but still alludes to the pain which is often referred to in Milk and Honey.
Despite a lot of the poems being about heartbreak, Kaur often touches on the topics of feminism, trauma, discrimination, and more. When reading this book, it is easy to relate to a lot of the things she said, even if you hadn’t experienced them, and that in itself is very powerful. Kaur does an amazing job of using illustrations to capture her poems as well. She didn’t use them as much in Milk and Honey, but used them a lot more in The Sun and Her Flowers.
After six months of having Milk and Honey out of my hands, to this day, I still sometimes ask my mother what she has done with it and I still receive a stupid answer about how she doesn’t know where it is. I obviously didn’t care about my mother’s concerns of me reading Rupi Kaur, as I made her buy this book for me. My mother didn’t notice (and is yet to) see that it was actually written by her, but I risked it anyway, and it definitely was worth it.
If this isn’t enough to get you to read this exquisite piece of work, this is the poem written on the back that encapsulates the eloquence and passion in her writing:
this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
in order to bloom]