By Axel Smith
In recent years, I’ve consistently had difficulty finding a book or novel to read, which I can get lost in and come out with a new outlook on things. Over time, I’ve found myself continuing to consume stories and literature, just in forms other than physical, but there are some pieces of writing that astonish me so greatly I have to have them right in front of me.
This past Christmas, I decided I wanted to get more books, and they all happened to be poetry. One in particular “Home Body” by Rupi Kaur, a poet I’d briefly heard about because of her first published book, “Milk and Honey”. This was a self-published book that sold over 5 million copies and translated into more than 42 languages. Kaur is an Indian immigrant living in Canada who writes about “love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity, and migration,” as stated on her website, Rupikaur.com.
Kaur breaks up this body of poems into chapters with blacked-out pages that have titles in white, such as; “mind”, “heart”, “rest” and “awake”. All of the poems are written in lowercase and with little punctuation. When asked about this in the FAQ on her website, she says it’s done to honor her mother tongue, Punjabi. Punjabi uses no uppercase or lowercase. “The letters are treated the same. I enjoy this simplicity. It’s symmetrical and straightforward. I also feel there is a level of equality this visuality brings to the work. A visual representation of what I want to see more of within the world: equallness,” Kaur said on her FAQ page.
The poems are surrounded by illustrations done by Rupi on nearly every page. She talks about self-empowerment, human truths, and her own ideas on a society that both harmed and helped her. She uses these experiences to review the world’s gifts, as well as deficiencies, and how they affected her and others, as well as how they continue to do so. Kaur discusses breaking out of other’s perceptions of you and digging deeper into yourself to find self-comfort, contentment, and satisfaction.
I love this book with all my heart because each poem holds beauty on its own, but in its entirety, it tells a story that is all about becoming comfortable with yourself, as well as the past, and moving forward towards your aspirations. I recommend this book to anyone who’s looking to grow their enlightenment and inner peace, it’s helped me feel grounded and inspired me to be optimistic.