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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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The power of poetry

Photo by Rose Weldon ’19

A new collection by Instapoet Rupi Kaur.


Has your Instagram feed been flooded with concise, powerful poems with ornate illustrations lately? If so, these shorts might be from 25-year-old “Instapoet” Rupi Kaur’s second poetry collection

Following the worldwide success of her New York Times bestselling collection “milk and honey,” Canadian author, illustrator and spoken-word artist Rupi Kaur released her second collection of poetry entitled “the sun and her flowers” on Oct. 3.

A native of Toronto, Kaur moved from India with her family at the age of 4, and went on to graduate from the University of Waterloo in Ontario with a degree in English. She then began performing throughout Canada and sharing her poetry through social media, where it gained a strong fanbase.

Kaur self-published her first collection, “milk and honey” in 2014, and its immediate success garnered a two-book deal with publisher Andrews McMeel, which later released the book on a larger scale and now has published “the sun and her flowers.”

Kaur’s latest collection takes the reader on an extremely personal journey, from heartbreak and pain to eventual healing and thriving.

Like “milk and honey,” Kaur splits “the sun and her flowers” into sections, each containing poetry that deals with a particular theme: “wilting,” “falling,” “rooting,” “rising,” or “blooming.” The titles for the chapters are explained in a poem that appears on page 114 and also on the back cover:

“this is the recipe of life / said my mother / as she held me in her arms as i wept / think of those flowers you plant / in the garden each year / they will teach you / that people too / must wilt / fall / root / rise / in order to bloom.”

In other words, Kaur’s latest collection reveals how she, like the flowers in her garden, emerged from the depths of darkness and suffering to emerge bright and victorious.

Kaur’s poems vary in length and can range from a few words to a few pages, with the topics varying as well. Some issues she covers in her collection include love, relationships, personal and shared trauma, migration, empowerment and feminism. Many of her poems are accompanied by illustrations designed and drawn by the author herself.

Since its release only two weeks ago, “the sun and her flowers” is already contending with John Green’s “Turtles All the Way Down” and Dan Brown’s “Origin” for the number one spot on Amazon’s best sellers list.

Kaur is currently on her fall 2017 tour, which kicked off in New York City on Oct. 2, travelling across the United States and Canada to promote her book and perform poetry for her fans.

Whether you are going through a difficult period in your life or simply feeling in need of some empowering inspiration, you can find solace in Kaur’s “the sun and her flowers.”

After all, as she writes in the final poem in her latest collection: “there is nothing left to worry about / the sun and her flowers are here.”

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