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Book Review of home body by Rupi Kaur

By Meagan Bess

Rupi Kaur has returned with a new poetry collection titled home body. This is her third released work to the public since milk and honey and the sun and her flowers. This release has been long awaited with fans knowing she had something in the making. Now that’s it is finally here, it is worth the read by any poetry lover. The book is raw and real and keeps you captivated all the way to the end.

If you are unfamiliar with Rupi Kaur and her works you should know that she is a popular modern poet on many people’s radar. She speaks her mind in her collections and keeps people involved with her stories when performing live on tour.

Kaur was born in India but migrated to Canada with her family many years ago. In her poems, she explores topics such as relationships, immigration and sexual trauma.

Her first collection, milk and honey was originally self-published on what Amazon used to call CreateSpace. It includes not only poetry but prose and illustration. The collection was rereleased with publishing company Andrews McMeel. The collection has been translated into 25 languages. Saying that it is popular all around the world is an understatement.

Her second collection, the sun and her flowers was released in 2017. This collection received a lot of recognition including making the New York Times Bestseller list for 76 weeks and is the 9th bestselling book in Canada.

Her latest collection was published last year but it’s prevalence is notable and needs to be continually recognized. It was #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list and remained there for several weeks after its release.

home body is very dynamic and has multiple layers. It contains four sections titled mind, heart, rest, and awake. Kaur focuses on topics she has discussed before like depression, anxiety, sexual assault, hope and love. She is letting in all readers no matter their gender. These harsh memories allow readers that have suffered from similar pain to connect and find hope through her words.

Kaur does a good job of reeling in readers with the first line of her collection, “I’m in the darkest room of my life.” This allows readers to see the darkness surrounding her. It also showcases the sadness filling her. She gives off this self-awareness that makes readers feel like they can always get honesty out of her works.

Kaur shows her growth and maturity in this third collection. Though she is just as mature in the others, this one seems to have been given more thought on the things she has gone through and what is important for her to reflect on after all this time she’s had to create it. In the section titled heart, she makes a valid statement that anyone could connect with romantically or familially. She writes, “If someone doesn’t have a heart you can’t go around offering them yours.” She is speaking to this person but also to her readers. She is letting us know that it’s better not to have our hearts broken if the person won’t relay the same to you. It might be sadness with this reality, but it is a better process to heal knowing the hurt was avoided.

Kaur’s honesty and rawness continues in the third section titled, “rest.” She makes the following proclamation:

“I excavate my life

package it up

sell it to the world

and when they ask for more

I dig through bones

trying to write poems.”

Rupi kaur

As a fellow writer, I can attest to writing poetry that is creative and a part of my imagination. Kaur goes beyond this and is detailed on her inner thoughts, placing them in poetry and prose that can be understood in a reality where thoughts like these can occur. Knowing her honesty is apparent, it helps connect readers even further.

Her final section, “awake” can speak to most if not all her readers. A selection from it that stands out is the following:

“On days you can’t hear yourself

slow down to

let your mind and body

catch up to each other.”

rupi kaur

This seems like a self-reflection but something that anyone can reflect on. It is sincere in how it’s being told. It makes things feel simpler when there are complex things in the world.

Reading this collection multiple times will allow for different things to arise to focus on each time. It is not necessary to read her previous two works before this one but learning her style of writing in the first two works might bring even more enjoyment out of the third.

To keep up with Rupi Kaur follow her website, her Instagram, and Twitter @rupikaur_.

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