📙 Milk and Honey

[Canadian |1982–]

you might not have been my first love
but you were the love that made
all the other loves
irrelevant

— Oh Jay! This is true, it is so, so very true.

Milk and Honey (2014) is a collection of poetry and prose by Rupi Kaur. It is divided into four chapters, with each chapter serving a different purpose. Violence, abuse, love, loss and femininity are prevalent themes.

Critics have called Kaur’s work instapoetry (“instapoets” are poets who have risen to fame by using social media to leverage their work). It has also been described as easy and simply constructed. However, she has been credited with changing people’s views of poetry, by this simplistic style and telling things as they are. Moreover, and of critical import to the world of poems and poetry, John Maher, of Publishers Weekly, stated that while a 2015 survey reported a drop in poetry reading between 1992 and 2012, poetry sales figures doubled in 2017, in the years after Milk and Honey was published. As of 2019, 2.5 million copies have been sold and it was listed on The New York Times Best Seller list for more than 77 weeks.

people go but how they left always stays

— I am beseeching you.

i am hopelessly
a lover and
a dreamer and
that will be the
death of me

— This is me, this is so, so very me.

I shall end with the beginning:

why is it that when the story ends,
we begin to feel all of it

 

Love by Larkin

— Philip Larkin

The difficult part of love
Is being selfish enough,
Is having the blind persistence
To upset an existence
Just for your own sake.
What cheek it may take.

And then the unselfish side –
How can you be satisfied,
Putting someone else first
So that you come off worst?
My life is for me.
As well ignore gravity.

Still, vicious or virtuous,
Love suits most of us.
Only the bleeder found
Selfish this wrong way round
Is ever wholly rebuffed,
And he can get stuffed.

It’s about give and it’s about take…

We don’t know, but we hear something and make a judgment then, we hear something else and we either become dogmatic or we reevaluate our previous perspective…

BLACKSPOT_&_ME

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

― Philip Larkin, High Windows (1974)

Point & Counterpoint

‘Philip Larkin, racist, bigot and poet’
Socialist Review
John Newsinger (2017)

‘In search of the real Philip Larkin’
The Observer
Rachel Cooke (2010)

Kahlil Gibran

[Lebanese | 1883–1931]

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.

Although Kahlil Gibran was born in Lebanon, he spent the last twenty years of his life in New York where, among other things, he ran a book club. By far his most famous work is The Prophet which has long been viewed as an inspirational and allegorical guide to living. First published in the 1920s, it speaks of many things central to daily life like beauty, passion love, marriage and death. It also covers the more mundane activities such as eating and working.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

^ Now, ain’t that so fucking true, you, my Secret Sharer, were indeed my most delectable of delights. Turning to another of Gibran’s sublime quotes, ain’t it so that true love can be a truly wicked game to have to play:

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.

Good god, I do Thank Nature for what we had but I do pray hard to Mother En that what we had was real. Wasn’t it? Was it all a figment of my godforsaken and troubled mind? Was it, ‘was it’ a case of the unloved captain and his imagined stowaway? Am I he and, were you all a creation of my delusion daydreaming?