When Milk and Honey came out in 2014, Rupi Kaur must’ve been at least a little shocked to see herself go from an Insta-poet to a successful author in a matter of months, with her debut book even reaching the top spot in the New York Times bestsellers list.
Social media followers and newfound fans alike have since been understandably excited for the release of The Sun and Her Flowers: her second collection of poetry that was finally gifted to us on October 3rd, 2017 (after months of enticing excerpts and teasers being posted on Instagram).
The 25-year-old Toronto-based poet has impressed us once again, writing in her familiar, simpler style of free verse, as she tackles an array of themes that are anything but trivial.
And, as we witnessed in her first book, those very themes of love, trauma, heartache and healing have been adopted once again, but this time there’s also some further explorations of ethnicity, migration and womanhood. There’s even a bit of female infanticide (using her South Asian heritage as a point of focus).
The Sun and Her Flowers leads the reader through a more matured five-part journey: wilting, falling, rooting, rising and blooming. Tthe 256 pages also include occasional illustrations, hand-drawn by Kaur herself.
Her second anthology undoubtedly elicits a range of emotions, from feelings of disgust and discomfort over her frank narration of traumatic events, to a sense of triumph and tranquillity that can somehow be sourced from her poems.
Perhaps it is her universality and accessibility that gives the poet such wide appeal. There’s that, and the way she writes in what is sometimes emotionally overwhelming; yet, makes sure to mend you back together as you progress through the pages.
And in a particularly heart-warming move (one that ought to make some readers weep), Kaur dedicates much writing in The Sun and Her Flowers to her mother, as she goes on to express a rather profound love and deep admiration for the influential, indispensable female figure in her life.