By Sophia Whittemore
Poet Rupi Kaur is only 24 years old, and she’s already spent a year on the NYT Best Sellers list with her book of poetry Milk and Honey. She’s going on global poetry tours. She’s changing lives with her words. With the gritty subject matter of her work covering a variety of topics -from feminism, violence, love, loss, and abuse- Kaur’s name has remained a staple of most college students’ vocabulary.
“i want to apologize to all the women i have called beautiful
before i’ve called them intelligent or brave
i am sorry i made it sound as though
something as simple as what you’re born with
is all you have to be proud of
when you have broken mountains with your wit
from now on i will say things like
you are resilient, or you are extraordinary
not because i don’t think you’re beautiful
but because i need you to know
you are more than that”
― Rupi Kaur, Goodreads
In the about page of Rupi Kaur’s website, it says that the young poet had just completed her degree in rhetoric studies when she published her famous work. But Kaur’s always been on this artistic journey ever since she was five and her mother handed her a paintbrush, allowing her to draw whatever her heart desired, allowing her to explore new worlds through the power of her emotions, her experiences, and her imagination. Her interview with The Guardian goes into detail on how she gained her 1.5 million followers on Instagram. She posted whatever she wanted so that she could find a creative outlet for her emotions. However, when Instagram stated that one of her photos, an image of her lying on bloody sheets, was too graphic, Rupi Kaur shot back by saying that Instagram sexualized women’s bodies enough already without her help.
Kaur was born in Punjab, India, and had to relocate to Toronto with her Sikh family at a young age, only four. She faced multiple difficulties with English as her second language. Yet, she always had a special place in her heart for the beautiful images and sounds of poetry. Through poetry, Rupi Kaur found a way to make sense of the world, and to bring to light all the heartache hidden behind her exterior, behind the most rotten parts of an unjust society.
Rupi Kaur has faced criticism for her “simplistic” poetry style, but she won’t let that get her down. As she said, with a generous helping of irony, in her interview:
“I don’t fit into the age, race or class of a bestselling poet.”
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