The sun and her flowers is a collection of poetry by #1 New York Times bestselling author, Rupi Kaur. It is the sequel to her 1st self-published book of poetry and prose, milk and honey. Both free-verse collections have illustrations within them—all created by Kaur. She is originally from Canada, and has performed her poetry all across the world. milk and honey, alone sold over a million copies, was translated over 30 languages, and was best-seller for the New York Times every week for a little over a year back in 2014.
Similar to milk and honey, this sequel has lines and stanzas wrapped in meaning. It is a book that allows readers to make friends with the character, who is Kaur, herself, exposed. The language is simple in some ways, yet so punchy in other ways, sometimes making readers reread just to regain clarity. She has illustrations on almost every page, which depict what she’s describing in her poems. The signatures, such as “-human” for example, are at the end of her poems, as well. They read almost like a hashtag or a postscript in a letter, giving context, credit, and reference to the topic, concept, place, person, or feeling she’s alluding to.
This collection is broken into five parts: wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. The first two sections, wilting, and falling, naturally have a sad, morbid, moping tone. These sections, and rather, themes, have a negative connotation to them at face value. For this reason, Kaur’s poems in wilting, are very much about losing herself in the midst of trying to make her partner happy, and yet, not being happy with herself, her relationship, or her life. In falling, Kaur blames herself for letting someone else who she thought was “the one” truly turn her softness into roughness in all the wrong ways. She struggles to pick herself up from this pit, and stays stuck on the image of a man she once knew.
These sections will most likely touch people who have gone through this experience. It will provide understanding to someone who knows another person who has experienced these intense emotions. It will speak truth to and affect those currently intertwined in what implies, self-destruction.
The following chapters: rooting, rising, and blooming, are conversely, much more positive—much more inspiring, than the ones preceding. These are stanzas wrapped in meaning specifically for women. These poems will inform them about self-love, self-care, and self-worth.
These lines will teach them that on this earth, women go through womanhood together, yet separately simultaneously. These words will evoke emotions and memories about what it is to be a woman, a wife, a mother, an immigrant. These lines will teach young women to love and appreciate their mothers, and remind their mothers and mother figures to start living life again.
These messages will at best rejuvenate the mind and soul for women, and at worst, make them think differently, as Kaur subtly refers to the political climate America is in today.
Kaur gives the audience—women, poetry lovers, book lovers, young adults, and anyone else interested in taking a stab at reading poetry, life lessons. In just a couple of words, lines, or stanzas, she invites readers to keep reading. Her writing reminds readers of Hemingway in that way. Short. Detailed. Powerful. Scenic. She cuts to the chase, and toys with our hearts—the way her past lovers have—with her words in a stimulating way. Many lines will become favorite lines. Readers will thus, feel connected, even rooted, to Kaur’s experiences.
The honesty of the stories, and the rawness of the no-filtered language embedded throughout the poems, give readers that gift of identifying with the main protagonist, and best-selling author, Kaur. Though milk and honey focuses on the sweetness in the bitter parts of hurting, loving, breaking, and healing, the sun and her flowers gets into the nitty-gritty details of truly wilting, and falling as if the sun doesn’t shine anymore. But then, naturally like nature, the book picks up, and truly blooms, as readers progress through the story.
This collection of poetry very much contains the five-point story arc. The exposition is wilting, and we see the conflict at its root, which exposes Kaur’s toxic relationship with love. Then, the rising action occurs and we visualize her completely withering and wilting with words and illustrations. Then, rooting reveals how she garners her thoughts, goals and dream once more, despite all the heartbreak. She is finally healing. This is the climax. This is the change we want to see for her, and within ourselves. Page 193 sums it all up, and is cathartic for anyone reading it. Rising becomes the falling action, as the sun begins to come up again—a new, real love is on the horizon. Here, Kaur further reflects on the hardest year of her life. She also offers gratitude to people, places, writing, and things who’ve helped her rise. And blooming is the greatest gift to the reader—the resolution. The sun and her flowers are no longer wilting or falling.
The sun and her flowers is poetry that will intrinsically give readers “all the feels,” a phrase used in pop culture which signifies positive vibes. It’s a reading experience that will also get readers “in their feelings,” another pop culture phrase which indicates someone’s feelings are hurt, and hurt bad. It’s a collection of poetry that evokes feelings and moods, shaped in stanzas, wrapped in meaning, and illustrated in honest depictions.
Kaur is the sun herself. She shines so bright throughout this collection, and succeeds as a poet, writer, woman, and human once again. She is instantly likeable. The timing of this sequel is also agreeable.
Now more than ever in America, we need more women empowering women. We need more humans paving the way for their successors to succeed in ways their predecessors didn’t. We need more men to understand women. And Kaur gave us those bitter-sweet reminders in the sun and her flowers, through her eyes and her voice.
p.s. I wrote this review last Sunday. I recommend reading this book for anyone. It was a wonderful reading experience. Both milk and honey, and the sun and her flowers will warm your soul.