Proof Rupi Kaur is One of the Greatest Poets of All Time – Milk and Honey Book Review


– In this video I’m gonna
explain why Rupi Kaur is one of the greatest poets of all time, which is probably gonna
get me in a lot of trouble. (soft jingle) Hey everyone! My name is Nate Proctor and
I like to think of myself as an art curator and literary connoisseur but the truth is I’m just a nerd who likes to tell stories. So if you like that kind of thing please hit that Subscribe
button right below this video. But first a little backstory on me. I actually didn’t read a
single novel in high school. Not a single one. I hated it. I hated English class. I was a terrible writer. I dropped out of college, tried being a fashion photographer, ended up homeless, living out of my car, eating maybe once a day,
literally scrounging for changes to buy a taco. The fact of the matter is literature didn’t just save my life, it changed my life for the better. I ended up reading poetry,
I ended up writing poetry. I ended up years after I’d dropped out graduating from Columbia University near the top of my class
in English Literature. So I come from a very
academic literary background, you can say, yet I still
maintain that Rupi Kaur is one of the greatest poets of all time. Whilst saying also that she is actually
not a very good writer in a sense that she is
not great at her craft. She doesn’t, for example,
have an incessant infatuation or obsession with language. She doesn’t really use metaphor, at least use it in a way
that’s incredibly poetic. She is not looking for the
most original metaphor. So, how can I say that she is one of the greatest poets of all time if she is not attentive to her craft? Before we get to that let me
just throw at a couple stats that in and of themselves aren’t important but they are essential to my argument. And that is she’s got almost a million followers on Instagram. A million! Now, I bring this up not because popularity is the definition of greatness, but popularity with intent is. Now, going back to how we define what it is to be a great poet, there’s three things that you can use as anchor points or as
arguments to make your case. One is craft, two is like
the meaning of the poem, and three is impact. Let me ask you a question. Can you honestly say that a poet is the greatest poet ever if
you’ve never heard of them? If you’ve never read a poet,
if most, majority of people, 99% of the population
has never read a poem by this particular poet,
how can you really say that they’re the greatest
poet of all time? If you do, then you’re
looking at them in a vacuum. You’re looking at their
work in and of itself, which is literary, it’s academic. But I think it’s missing a key element and that is impact. To me, I define greatness by its value, and value is defined by its impact, its enormous impact. Something is not valuable
really to society, to the world, to history,
if it doesn’t have impact. So for the longest time
people like Rupi Kaur, especially people,
especially women of color, haven’t been published,
they haven’t been able to have that impact. And so, they’ve been pushed to academia or not to popular population. In today’s day and age, however, with the likes of
Instagram, with Facebook, with Tumblr, poets are getting a voice. The audience is being
able to determine yes, that resonates with me. Before we go any further
I want you to make the clear, clear claim that just because you’re
popular on Instagram doesn’t mean you’re great. There’re poets out there
that have a bigger reach than Rupi Kaur, they get more likes, they get more comments than Rupi Kaur. I will emphatically say
that I don’t believe those poets are very good at all, just like a popular novel
is not necessarily good. What makes Rupi Kaur good
is how the content itself is changing the course of history, is changing women’s minds. “I like the way the stretch marks “on my thighs look human “and that we’re soft enough “yet rough and jungle
wild when we need to be. “I love that about us. “How capable we are of feeling, “how unafraid we are of breaking “and tend to our wounds with grace. “Just being a woman, “calling myself a woman “makes me utterly whole and complete.” Now, yeah, there’s not too much to that, there’s not much attention
to language, to craft. It is a call for womanhood,
this is who a woman is. It is to be proud, it is
to both break and feel, and yet be rough and jungle wild, it is to embrace and
love our stretch marks. Now, of course, Rupi is not the first one to make such claims. But when you go through
and look at the comments on Rupi’s Instagram page, you come across some of the most moving, moving comments. “Your words make me feel like a woman.” That is a direct quote. “Your words make me feel like a woman.” Rupi Kaur is in a sense defining what it means to be a
woman and what it means to be proud of who you are. That’s insanely powerful,
that is greatness. Let’s be honest, that is greatness. I am not going to obsess
over a metaphor or craft. I love it, it makes me smile, but at the end of the
day I will choose Rupi over a poet who sings my literary anthem but maybe doesn’t have the same enormous transformative power that Rupi’s poem does. Rupi is giving not just women but people, giving me as well, enormous
sense of who we are. Coming to grips with who we
are, cherishing who we are, and giving us the strength and courage and guidance to navigate this world. This is why I say she’s one of the greatest
poets of all time. She’s putting to words and
guiding us in a powerful way. So I’m gonna repeat emphatically and I will argue with anyone, I will go toe-to-toe
with anyone in academia and argue that Rupi Kaur is one of the greatest poets of all time. Mind you that I almost went on to get my PhD in English Literature. Just gonna read some more poems. “Apparently it is ungraceful of me “to mention my period in public “’cause the actual biology “of my body is too real. “It is okay to sell “what’s between a woman’s legs “more than it is okay to mention “its inner workings. “The recreational use of this body “is seen as beautiful “while its nature is seen as ugly” So what do you think? Did you buy my argument? Do you think Rupi is one
the greatest of all times? How do you define greatness? I really want to know so let
me know in the comments below. Thank you so much for watching! I love you, I love you, I love you. And don’t forget to subscribe below. See you next time! We should make up like a Rupi Kaur dance, dance of gratitude. A Rupi Kaur gratitude dance. It’s gotta be with a book. Something like that? What do you think? Oh my goodness.

39 thoughts on “Proof Rupi Kaur is One of the Greatest Poets of All Time – Milk and Honey Book Review

  1. You, Nate, just gave me a whole new perspective on Rupi Kaur. As a lover of poetry myself, I have come across her name a couple of times. But I will admit that every time I came across her poetry I was a little underwhelmed. I thought that it came off as sort of sappy and one dimensional. But I really like the argument that you're presenting in this video – that her poetry is may not be of high academic merit but of power and influence and I can definitely get down with that. You have inspired me to actually give Milk and Honey a chance hahahaha. We'll have to see how it goes.

  2. I don't read much poems, was never fond of them. But lately, reading Rupi's poems on instagram and facebook really makes me want to start reading poetry. <3 Can you suggest some ?

  3. poetry is literary inception where multiple different or supporting sub themes and ideas are condensed into single words, that when structured and placed contribute to the overall theme of the constructed statement in the poem.

    Rupi Kaur does not do this. she just writes random seemingly meaningless thoughts that participate in a modern collective feminist ideology and is as such praised as brilliant. she's not a poet she's just influential.

    How to write like Rupi Kaur:
    "I walked into the kitchen
    today.
    I saw dirty dishes in the sink.
    I chose
    not to wash them."

    then the whole world goes oh wow it's soo powerful! she chose. SHE CHOSE!! so empowering.

  4. Eh? So you recognise Kaur is a poor and unoriginal writer… yet this click-bait title? If you genuinely believe Kaur is "One of the Greatest Poets of All Time" Then I pity you. Impact? Not really. She does NOT really have a major impact at all. You greatly exaggerate it. It is telling when you find comments left on her social media sites to be more moving than the actual poetry.

    Your whole argument is based on popularity [even if its popularity of perceived impact]. Unfortunately, we live in such times that poor art like this can spread like wildfire. I hope you come through… and see what Kaur's work really is. Utter shite.

  5. rupi kaur is one of the best poets i know. it's not really bc of how poetic her writings are, but how she gave a new flavor to what poetry is and how brave she is to write about such things. she reminds me of Nila Wahdati from Hosseini's book. her poetry transcends from the common style of poetry and tells us heavy stories in limited words. moreover, she touches subjects that not everyone is brave enough to talk about in public. she's as amazing as arundhati roy. ♡

  6. Nate the question is does Rupi Kaur believes she is one of the greatest poets of all time (i doubt it). Maybe you have a crush on Rupi (LOL!). What we need to define is the what is meant by "greatest" – moreso than we need to define poetry. Leveraging a new form of communication does not make you "greatest" – greatest in my books has "talent" as a substantial component – so is she the most talented poet of all time (i think not). Diving into social taboos and controversy is a rather easy way of going viral and getting 'likes' on social media – not much novelty there, other than the novelty of applying it to poetry perhaps. So i do not agree social media "impact" constitutes greatness especially when it is so easy to achieve – talent and creativity are far more integral to greatness in my estimation – i respectuly propose that Rupi is neither the most talented nor the most creative poet ever (not even close).

    By way of your Rupi infatuation (or illucidity) you want us to believe that Rupi Kaur's is greater than: Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou, William Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickenson, etc…no offense, but your mind is simply not functioning properly…

    Is she good? (yes). Is she greater than Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou, etc? (lets wait and see what else happens throughout her career…but at this point definately not (i think she would agree)

  7. The only people who applaud Rupi are Tumblr sad girls. Her poems are emotionally charged, but they're vapid, simple, and have no structure. They read like late night twitter drafts. all the people saying that it's art because she claims it's art, you're right. Art is subjective. It's art in the same sense that a child's finger paint is art. But she has no clever figure of speech, no structure, no ground breaking concepts. It's art, but it's not good from an academic point of view. Rupi is popular because she appeals to our youth who don't have the time energy or interest to dissect poetry that is remotely complex. It's just ~aesthetic~ and it relates to every girl on the planet. The fact that she relies on visually pleasing spacing and doodles makes that obvious. 16 year old me would have loved this, then I took AP LIT and had to dissect TS Elliot and Nathaniel Hawthorne. I personally am not a fan and anyone who considers this as groundbreaking is ignorant and lazy.

  8. i came for the video but stayed for his really exquisite hair. 🙏 basically im a young writer myself, and seeing other young writers around me; wattpad, hellopoetry, i see that nearly all of them have developped rupi's type of style. honestly, i wrote some myself in a similar style like hers. it is addictive, and artistic in its own way, but now that everyone's doing it, it might lose its meaning/beauty. but still, as a 19 year old, her poetry is so so relatable to many of us & espec young girls out here. and her effortless yet simple drawings are also, really powerful in my pov. loved the video, subscribing! 🙏 btw, David levithan has a similar novel with the same style of writing called The realm of possibility; my favorite book ever. Id love to see a review from u abt it❤❤

  9. If you can even attempt to forward the idea she is one of the best poets of all time then you are as thick as fuck.

  10. If you can even attempt to forward the idea she is one of the best poets of all time then you are as thick as fuck.

  11. This video inspire me a lot to keep writing poetry in English not Arabic, because you make me think that may be in the future someone like you will understand my style. The problem that my English is intermediate so i have to do a lot of work so the result will be beautiful.

  12. The perfect thing to me that Rupi Kaur's poems sound so so good in Arabic, i love them.

  13. You seem to think that poets pay attention to their craft for the sake of the craft itself, in a vain pursuit of being unique and widely praised.
    You are correct in disdaining such a way of writing. Bad poets write that way.

    Good poets pay attention to their craft for the sake of doing what all art is meant to do, for the sake of showing their reader a new perspective on the world, by using a style of writing that is equal parts familiar and schema-disrupting. A good poet knows how to efficiently strike balances, in order to attract their reader out of their comfort zone using light, and then leave the reader space to reflect and rebuild in the darkness in which they have been lead by the writer.

    Rupi Kaur…does none of that. She leaves no space for readers to reflect on her work on their own. The one stylistic techniques she employs – intense orthographic minimalism – lends nothing to the efficient delivery of her perspective. And the content of her writing itself is nothing more than an exploitation of common social media buzzword themes – body acceptance, sexual abuse, family issues, etc.

    In simple words, she doesn't challenge her readers to see or feel or think anything new; she just regurgitates the things they're already thinking in the hopes of gaining attention.

    You seem intelligent, but maybe you just misunderstand a bit of what poetry is fundamentally supposed to do to a person, as compared to prose.

    It's supposed to be like a person walking into a society that's never heard music, and going and standing on the tallest building in the place with a boombox and a megaphone, and playing really loud, beautiful music to make everyone around really uncomfortable but also kinda feel like dancing, even though they might not know what dancing is. And doing that for the sake of letting other people know what music is, because you just couldnt describe it in plain word to them and they NEED to know what it is or you'll never feel complete without expressing the feeling to them.

    What Rupi Kaur is doing…is standing on the tallest building with a megaphone just shouting words that people relate to and hoping enough people will look up. "Sadness!" " Loneliness!" "Body Issues!" "Human Suffering!" "Womanhood!" "Life!" What they do and how they feel after they've looked up for that second…doesnt seem to matter based on the way she's writing now. She's trying to get people to look up at her…just for the sake of being seen. And that's bad poetry. (Honestly, really just unstructured prose without punctuation, but…you know, whatever the fuck cuz why not)

  14. I assure you no girl in rural India is sitting and reading this poem and feeling empowered. I know that cause I am Indian. It doesn't even focus so much on India, except I think three poem? She unfortunately doesn't represent India, because she is essentially Canadian, have emigrated there when 4. She hasn't lived the Indian lifestyle. Didn't have the Indian experience so….. and what was that poem in the begining? Why is my body a museum of natural disaster? Why is she asking me romanticize natural disasters? Nature I would get but…. natural disaster are the ones that end up killing a bunch of people? So my body is compared to the death of several people at the hands of nature. ok.

  15. being able to
    sell books
             to vulnerable 
    people
            is not
    a sign of a great
    poet. 

    – A Comment

  16. Honestly, anyone who reads this garbage has 1. Never read poetry before and 2. Likes the aesthetic of the cover.

  17. You sound crazy! Poetry is metaphor, has and always will be. How can you take an art and redefine it. Popularity doesnt define quality. There are great black poets who work us not popular because people wont buy it cause they black. What do you have to say about that? I can clearly give you example of great poetrt fromt upcoming book. I am a woman of color that never heard of her book and picked it up in the library and say 'this is not poetry'

  18. i am here again, you are so nice and sweet. watching this makes me feel good

  19. Lets go toe to toe. What makes her poetry NOT great, is that it leaves to much on the shoulder of the reader to fill in. You say she said "your words make me feel like a woman" what words do? the poets job is to show sensory in poems and use INSIGHT INTO SIGHT. A quick improvement: your breath streaming down the curve of my back, makes me feel like a sexy woman" She also doesn't comit to her opening lines, revealing fresh imagery to support it. I love how the stretch marks me feel human" all this "feel" word coming in alot in her work.It is like saying the same word over and over again, to force some "feeling" out of it. No different than politicians saying "vote for me, I am the best" a thousand times through every speech they give. When she says "feel human" Human doesn't go. Human don't stretch we shrink and if we stretch it is by force or loneliness. So she needed to find clarity first. So she could say :stretch marks on me, make me feel like I've had a long moment of weakness like an overcooked noodle. That is just a quick way she could of improved it. lets look at her poem below, from her book the Sun and Her Flowers. The opening line does not SHOW, after it. It doesn't even make sense what is said next. What is "this" in the poem. The next part doesn't even sound like a recipe and it also suggest that a flower comes after wilting. The images are backwards. It would sound better if she said "this is the recipe of life and then went on to prepare a grocery type list with using what is in her garden as the symbolism for living, then she could of added something her mother said that connects to that grocery list in some profound way, natural speaking way. Rupi in parts of her poem does not speak in natural speech with clarity. Clarity doesn't mean taken away from creativity, it means clarity even when translated and tested to see if it makes sense. If you take her line breaks away you will see the poem loose most of it's brevity. Even prose much have clarity even when it is hard. if a poem loosest brevity and impact without line breaks, it is not doing it's job. If you take her poem and remove the line breaks, you will find the deep hole in parts that come from the poem heaving and or lines crashing into eachother without connecting with CLARITY. It is like adding the end piece of a puzzle to the middle of the puzzle.

    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

    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

  20. Hitler was worshipped by many people and followed, does it make him great? NO IT DOESN'T. It just make him good at brainwashing and misleading. Greatness must still be defined. If she is great she is great at convincing people who know nothing much about poetry, that poetry is good provided that it leaves much of the imagination on the reader and with no regards whether there is any clarity. If you say this is okay, then she needs to submit her poetry for the Pulitzer Prize, I can promise you she won't win it or even place because the test the poems ability to prove it has hard clarity while sticking on theme. We all then, need to start just putting random words on the page and then seeing how we can create big holes in the poetry to leaves a lot of room for imagination and then publish our work. Her work falls right into the old cliché "Everything that glitter is not gold" it is glittering but it is not real Gold. However, I will try to remember, that people still love fake Gold, even it is tarnishes shortly after they put it on.

  21. Each time you go to say how great she is you pause long cause you can't think of anything then you rush to "because people think she is great. people can relate" She offer no translation of her work. You just read lines of her work.

  22. kaur randomly breaks up

    sentences to
    look
    like poetry but
    when you
    read it aloud it
    just
    sounds awkward and has no
    definite structure

    i appreciate what she’s writing about but her poetry isn’t poetry smh and it’s saddening that this is what ppl think poetry is and what it has been reduced to.

    rupi kaur is beyond garbage compared to literary geniuses such as shakespeare and poe and dickinson. their skill is what got their works being studied and praised in schools. their works make people think. that’s what good writers are supposed to do. when you directly say what’s on your mind in one sentence, it doesn’t necessarily make it a poem.

    but she’s improving, i’ll give her that. the sun and her flowers was a step up from milk and honey

  23. Dumbing down to the masses level of intellect isn't power. I wasn't able to see this video till the last second.
    I hoped this was sarcasm.

  24. i am here again to see your smile even if i don't understand everything ! and Happy World Poetry Day from Morocco.

  25. Eliot
    Yeats
    Frost
    Tennyson
    Owen
    Heaney
    Auden
    Larkin
    Byron
    Shelley
    Whitman
    Wadsworth
    Keats
    And more
    They all are turning in their grave.

  26. Rupi Kaur (and Lang Leav) aren't even poets. They're diarists who dish up dorm food in the form of emo ridden crap only palatable to girls who've been broken hearted and need to hear the word love used in every other verse. 1 million followers doesn't make one a spectacular poetry genius.

  27. Your an idiot. Ever head of Maya Angelou. Or Nikki Giovanni. God damn you guys are so uneducated about poetry. As a writer and artist it is utterly and completely socially irresponsible for Rupi Kaur to have gained this audience and never verbally credit any other women of color and poets who have sold way more books than her and earned many many accolades. She presents herself as the first women of color who decided to break in and write poetry lol

  28. Someone knowing how to market themselves doesnt equate to talent concerning what they are actually marketing.

  29. She is not a great poet. Lanston Hughes is better. Heck, I'm better & I don't really think highly of my work.

  30. Shes not one of the greatest poets but she is one of the greatest scammers of all time. To scam people into believing and buying her shit.

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