Review: Melk en Honing (Milk and Honey) by Rupi Kaur

Review: Melk en Honing (Milk and Honey) by Rupi KaurMelk en honing by Rupi Kaur
Published by Uitgeverij Orlando on February 1st 2018
Genres: Non-fiction, Poetry
Pages: 208
Format: Hardcover

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

If there’s one book that’s popular on Bookstagram, it’s definitely Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. The book has been on my wishlist for a while now. Everyone is so positive about it that I really wanted to read it. Also, like I said at the beginning of the year, I want to read different books and genres this year; broaden my horizon. And poetry is definitely not a genre I’m familiar with. So I wanted to give it a try.

Milk and Honey has now been translated into Dutch going by the title ‘Melk en Honing’. The publisher was so kind to send me a copy of the book. I received it, and I read it on the same night. It only took me like an hour or two, or maybe even less to finish. It really is a fast read. Some of the poems in the book are only a couple of lines, others are a bit longer. But I guess it’s the perfect kind of book to just read inbetween something else.

Before reading the book, I was wondering how the translation going to be. If it would be possible to translate such a book in Dutch and still keep the original meaning. Because it is a very different kind of book to translate I think. I have to say, I didn’t like all the poems. Some translations were – in my opinion – a bit odd. Some I didn’t completely understand. And in others, I felt like the specific language used was a bit too much. There were even a couple of Dutch words in there that I had never heard of. But that said, most of the poems were actually pretty great. And I felt like they had the same meaning as they would probably have in English, in the original. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t read the English edition. But I am planning on reading the English one soon as well. Just to see the difference.

Something I also need to mention is the fact that even though the Dutch edition has the exact same cover, it is actually a hardback and I really like that! I don’t think there’s a hardback version of the original one, only paperback. So points for the Dutch publisher for choosing hardback.

I don’t want to tell you that much about the actual book itself. I feel like this is just one of those books you just have to read for yourself you know. Go in blank! That’s what I did, the only thing I knew about it was that everyone was raving about it.

What I can tell you is that some poems are quite heavy and deep. They are about situations and things in life that people don’t talk about that quickly. Also, the poems are divided into chapters. You’ve got hurting, loving, breaking and healing. So there are a variety of subjects in this book. Like abuse, heartache, sex and love.

Like I said, I don’t want to give to much away, so this review is rather short. But I really loved reading this, I devoured it. I did like some poems more than others, but I guess that’s normal in a book like this. Now that I’ve read it, I would like to read more poetry, and I also really want to read her other book; The Sun is also a Flower.




  1. February 15, 2018 / 21:34

    I’ve seen this book in loads of places but had mistakenly assumed it was a YA novel. I’m not sure what gave me that impression? Now I know it’s a good poetry collection, I am keen to read a copy.
    Thanks for your review putting me right!

  2. February 16, 2018 / 20:56

    Vond de Engelse versie prachtig, maar lijkt me leuk om de Nederlandse ook een keer te proberen!

  3. February 20, 2018 / 12:00

    Ik heb het boek onlangs in het Engels gelezen en ik vond het prachtig en hartverscheurend. Ik weet ook niet goed wat ik ervan moet vinden dat er nu een Nederlandse vertaling is: heel fijn voor mensen die van poëzie houden maar niet goed zijn in Engels, I guess, maar ik vraag me af of je niet enorm voorbij gaat aan de stijl en betekenis van de gedichten als je het gaat vertalen…

  4. February 22, 2018 / 21:20

    Great review! I am not a big poetry reader, but this book has been on my radar quite a while, so I might give it a try:-)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *