‘The sun and her flowers are here’: A feature on Rupi Kaur’s new poetry book ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’

AMBER MATTICE

Managing Editor

“ . . . think of those flowers you plant/ in the garden each year/ they will teach you/ that people too/ must wilt/ fall/ root/ rise/ in order to bloom.”

Those lines are a part of the poem printed on the back of Rupi Kaur’s new book of poetry, “The Sun and Her Flowers” with a format that is very reminiscent of her first book, “Milk and Honey.”

Kaur’s new book features many of the same themes as her first publication such as love, loss, abuse and the act of rising again after those hardships. It is divided into five sections: wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming.

“The Sun and her Flowers” was published on Oct. 3 and is already receiving a large amount of backlash, primarily from critics that do not see the “instapoet” as a true literary idol.

Those critics, however, can shove it.

Kaur’s new poetry is just as honest and personal as the poems featured in “Milk and Honey” and are a moving new addition to the poetry that discusses topics such as abuse and the hardships of women.

Though she has received a lot of negative feedback and her poetry has been called “disingenuous,” Kaur refuses to let these comments change the way she writes.

“I feel like one thing I’ve stayed true to, that’s gotten me where I am today, is me being honest to myself. To me, writing is really me listening to my soul and me listening to that voice and responding to that,” said Kaur in an interview with Teen Vogue.

Her determination to not back down in the face of opposition is one of the many reasons that her poetry has had such a large affect on her readers.

As someone who has read “Milk and Honey” at least 20 times since its publication, the fact that Kaur was coming out with a new book had been exciting me since the initial announcement.

There is something incredibly personal and relatable about her poetry that has resonated with thousands of women, including myself, since she began posting them on her Instagram in 2013.

Despite all of the criticisms, such as writing about experiences that she has not actually had, Kaur remains an incredibly important figure in modern poetry.

According to an article in The New York Times, “Writing poems is how she processes the news and the world around her . . . and for what she hasn’t lived, she tries to understand.”

As a writer who garnered much of her fame through posts on Instagram, Kaur is breaking literary and social constructs through her writing. She unabashedly talks about uncomfortable and tense topics that many writers shy away from and her popularity speaks to how strongly her words resonate with her readership.

It has been three years since Kaur self-published “Milk and Honey” and the enthusiasm with which “The Sun and Her Flowers” is being received proves how important it is that Kaur is continuing to write with her iconic passion, empathy and sincerity.

Kaur’s poetry is crucial because of its raw realness. It is very minimalistic, which many people complain about and make fun of, but it is through her simple structure and metaphors that a unique picture is painted.

Her poetry is about her relationship with nature and other people. It is about her view of the world. No one has any right to tell her that she cannot express those things through her poetry.

Personally, I am both comforted and enlightened when reading Kaur’s poetry and there is no doubt that “The Sun and Her Flowers” will affect my life like the first poems I read by her did.

Her poetry has a way of teaching whoever is reading it about themselves and those around them. It paves the way for sympathy and an understanding of what it means to grow as an individual.

Her new book will be both a guide and a beacon for countless people, regardless of the those who do not appreciate the modern poet’s structure and voice.

I believe Kaur says it best in one of the poems in her new book: “there is/ nothing left/ to worry about/ the sun and her flowers are here.”

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