The Problem with Milk and Honey

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we are all born

so beautiful

 

the greatest tragedy is

being convinced we are not

-rupi kaur

 

If you’re familiar with any of Rupi Kaur’s work, you know this is her normal style of poetry. Short, simple, to the point, and grammatically incorrect. Kaur released her book “milk and honey” in 2014 and it later gained commercial popularity in 2017. While the poetry book was received well by large portions of the general public, many critics and other literary professionals were rather unimpressed and put off by Kaur’s work. Such as PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at Stanford University, Chiara Giovanni, who stated, “The milk and honey author’s use of unspecified collective trauma in her quintessential South Asian female experience feels disingenuous.”

Kaur wrote a collective 200 poems about love, loss, despair, abuse and healing. Boosted with encouragement from her fans who have labeled her as a bona fide, authentic, and personal author, she is considered important voice in a community to diversify the primarily white one. Although unsubstantiated, she’s been accused of plagiarism many times in the past few years from work posted on the popular site Tumblr. The author she has been accused of replicating, Nayyirah Waheed, has made a post regarding the issue of the plagiarism that took place, saying “ i expressed my upset. my growing discomfort. my disappointment and disbelief that as i had extended an professional acquaintanceship to them. a welcoming a general trust. artist to artist. woc writer to fellow woc writer. that trust felt it had been violated.” Rupi Kaur, has made no fellow statements regarding this post. Nonetheless, it is important to acknowledge Rupi Kaur as a woman of color who has reached great commercial success for her work.

 

we are all born,

as human.

 

it’s simple,

it’s obvious.

 

-Amanda Rose Jones

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