Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Book Review: The Sun and her Flowers

After surprising myself by loving Milk and Honey, it made sense to read Rupi Kaur’s second collection of poems. This time the collection is segregated into five parts; ‘wilting’, ‘falling’, ‘rooting’, ‘rising’ and ‘blooming’, clearly intending to explore the notion of love in all of its forms. One of the reasons that I love Kaur’s work is that it feels so intimate due to her not only writing the words, but also providing the illustrations, allowing further insight into the workings of her mind. It’s easy to see why her poetry has been such a literary sensation as the contents are relatable to an incredible extent. This collection, The Sun and her Flowers isn’t a direct continuation of Milk and Honey, but ultimately some of the themes are very similar. For example, love is a clear outlier from the offset, alongside the similarities in both her writing and illustrative style throughout both books. However, Kaur’s style has definitely evolved; there are fewer short poems and more in depth explanations of situations and feelings, joined together but visual and literal techniques, although there were moments where I felt that the poems didn’t flow as well as I would expect. Her visual style is definitely minimal, tumblr-esque and constrasting between soft, flowing illustrations alongside typed, rigid words. The overall theme running through this collection of poems is ‘love’, although the notion of love is a tricky one; it’s not just one thought or feeling, which is displayed through Kaur’s descriptions of heartbreak, loss, sexuality, grief and empowerment are only a few of the ideas that shape this collection.

The exploration of the self, ones ancestry and feminism are all themes that can be understood by anyone, although as a woman myself I find many parallels between her feelings and my own. Having never felt wonder about my own culture, I loved reading about how her roots have shaped her life; it was interesting to read her perspective on growing up as an immigrant, something which was mentioned a little in Milk and Honey, but receives more attention in The Sun and her Flowers. The growth of child to woman is something that was beautifully transcribed throughout the poems, alongside that that of heartache; both of these themes explain the difficulty of life, how it is not always easy which is presumably why so many have loved this collection as it hits home truths hard. Kaur is as fearlesss as ever in her portrayal of her life; this is a very personal text, using past experiences to replicate into words on a page. ‘Rising’ was the part that hit home the hardest for me, a positive message of overcoming issues and finding confidence. There is definitely relatability for the majority of people within this text, but as I’m currently in a good place, ‘rising’ was the part that I found to be the most influential, the part that encouraged me to think further. Some of the smallest poems from this collection read more like statements, which I liked. One of the things that I’m starting to like about poetry is the opportunity for creativity; no two poems have to be same, read the same or convey the same message or have the same intention. The use of fluid illustrations allow for further creativity, as well as adding another perspective to each of the poems, although I must admit the illustrations are what make me love Kaur’s works so much.

The thing to remember whilst reading this collection of poems is to not compare this book to her first book. Yes, the themes are similar, as are the illustrations and the writing style, but ultimately they are separate entities and need to be read as such. Overall, I did enjoy this collection of poems and many of themes and situations I could fully empathise with; one of things that I love about Kaur’s poetic style is that it’s so relatable and personable. In all honesty, I did prefer Milk and Honey, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy The Sun and her Flowers. It was dark, difficult and brutally honest in places, showing a lot of negative imagery; alongside loving, sexual nature and the world in a positive light with more imagery. This is not a book that is easy to read per se, but it has a very specific outcome, through stylised, simplistic poetic style and beautifully juxtaposed illustrations. There were some excellent comments that explored immigration and ancestry, which is always an interesting read. I loved the down to earth way in which Kaur describes her life and opinions, it feels real but unfortunately I felt that the structure of this collection of poems didn’t have such a solid foundation as her previous collection did, although it didn’t make it any less of an enjoyable read. For me, this book was a good read so an easy 4 stars as th e were so many elements that I really liked but ultimately there was just something missing for me that made it miss the final star. I’m looking forward to exploring poetry a bit more over the next few months. What are your thoughts on this book?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Back To Top
Designed By Hello Manhattan