March 21 is World Poetry Day. It’s a good moment to reflect on this beautiful and ancient art form. Poetry has been written through the ages, and it’s been brought to readers in all sorts of ways. Medieval bards recited their tales in long rhyming forms, while today, poetry may find its audiences via social media. A good example is the Instagram phenomenon Rupi Kaur. Three of the four books by this Punjab-born Canadian poet, illustrator, photographer and author are our best-selling poetry collections.
Our best seller is Rupi Kaur’s third collection, home body. Barely 30-years-old, Kaur has only written bestsellers. Publishers at first hesitated to publish her books, as the content is bold and sometimes controversial. home body tackles themes like self-care, pride, growing and mostly, love, reminding readers of the importance of self-care and healthy relationships. The poems generally consist of a few lines, often unrhyming, but they contain beautiful and clear declarations about universal themes. Kaur’s poems are accompanied by her simple black and white drawings, which underline the universality and simplicity of her work.
In second place is Kaur’s first book, milk and honey. This collection is divided into four chapters: “The Hurting,” The Loving,” “The Breaking” and “The Healing.” These can be seen as four phases in a relationship and the break-up that may follow. Again, Kaur discusses such themes as love and how to deal with a broken heart after a relationship ends. Kaur is also good at underlining the importance of healing and preserving self-confidence after a breakup, especially if the relationship was toxic. Kaur herself, as she tells her fans on her website, has not had an easy life, and maybe discussing her experiences in her poetry is what made publishers hesitate when she approached them. Kaur then decided to share her work on Instagram, which made her instantly famous—no doubt because her fans could connect to her heart-felt descriptions of pain and insecurity.
Finally, Kaur’s second collection the sun and her flowers, rounds out her ABC bestsellers, especially the hardcover edition with the pretty yellow cover. This collection takes its inspiration from nature. It is divided into five chapters: “Wilting,” “Falling,” “Rooting,” “Rising” and “Blooming.” These names symbolically depict the fall and growth of a person, depicted by such universal and natural themes as the life of a flower. Allowing yourself to feel blue for a while and then pulling yourself together to get better and “be reborn” is the general theme that runs through this poetry collection.
This simple poem reminds readers to value life by using sunflowers as an example: