Southeast Missouri State University student publication

First off the Shelf: Milk and Honey

Sunday, March 6, 2022
Graphic by Alyssa Lunsford

It is the middle of the semester and we all have such heavy loads of school work. For me, this means less time to sit down and get invested in a book that is hundreds of pages long. So this week, I took a step back and grabbed a poetry book (or two).

Poetry books are on the shorter side, so they are a quick read but they are full of emotion. My friend K lent me one of her books that I dove right into: “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur. This book has lots of emotion in it and could cause a trigger if there are any past experiences that readers have had that are within the poems themselves.


“Milk and Honey” is a collection of poems about the topic of survival, whether it be survival of love, loss, abuse or violence. The book is divided into sections.

Starting with “the hurting,” this is definitely a section that has trigger warnings for readers. It deals with sexual abuse as well as trauma. The poems are so full of passion that some are in great detail from the author.

The second section is called “ the loving”. This section is about the author falling in love and being in a real relationship for what felt like the first time. These passages were still passion-filled but with less than the first section.

The next section, called “the breaking,” tugged at my heartstrings just by the title. I knew what was coming and it made me so sad. However while the title was, “the breaking,” if felt as the author was not focused on the sad, depressing fact of a breakup but the way that it can be dealt with.

The last section is called “the healing.” This was my favorite section, as it was one that left the book with a good taste in my mouth after all the author put me through. In many ways, this was the section that I feel makes readers want to finish and hope for the outcome in every relationship.

Poetry is a way of healing. Getting the words out of your head and onto a page is a form of healing and journaling that can not just help you, but those who read it, as well. This collection of poems is so empowering and a good read. There are parts that did make me uncomfortable, but that is the point. You should feel uncomfortable reading something like this; not all books should be all rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes, we need a little bit of gravity to bring us back down to Earth and realize how people feel inside their heads.

If you enjoyed this summary some other great poetry books are:

Home Body by Rupi Kaur

Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell

As well as poetry books by our own SEMO student Jasmine Jones:

I dont want to be a tree anymore and Ghosts We Become

Do you write poetry or have a favorite poetry collection? Let me on @_anlunsford on Twitter.