Rupi Kaur:
Relatable Wordsmith or Annoying Spewer of Pleasantries?

You can love her–or you can love to hate her–but one thing is undeniably true: Rupi Kaur is damn popular. She is reputed as the most accessible poet of our time–and also dismissed as the pseudo-intellectual poet wannabe of our time. What is the truth? That, dearest–is for you to decide.

Writing this post, I realize my truth is a complicated one:

First things first–Rupi Kaur annoys me. A lot. This Instapoet has 2.3 million people following her work online. Her first collection of poems, “Milk and Honey,” is wildly trendy with 2.5 million copies sold internationally in the four years since it was published. Is her work worthy of such success? I really don’t think so. Maybe that’s the “I read real poetry” English-major in me talking. Or maybe it’s because I pity those who eat up her content and avoid every other “complicated” poet. I don’t view Ms. Kaur as a friendly gateway to the genre–she is more of a roadblock. A fence. A cork. A clot.

On the other hand–who am I to negatively judge those who cherish her poems? Does a writer’s success lie in their popularity? Do I submit to such snobbery, or do I just let it go? Beats me.

Moving on–assuming you’re familiar with Ms. Kaur’s work, let’s play a game:

Below are a few poems. I challenge you to guess who the writer is–Ms. Kaur or me (attempting to imitate her)? Good-luck.

 

i sit on the precipice of love

head straight

and toes dangling

 

i am sand between toes

but you don’t like the beach

 

you walk me home in the rain

and after i open the window

so the sky can explain to me

the softness of your hair

 

you speak in riddles

but i am one

 

he asks if one tiny mistake

can be forgotten

no, i am in the business of

loving your whole

 

put down the dye

and embrace your greys

like you would your beloved

 

you worry

because he kisses

with eyes wide open

relax, with your face

how could he not

 

he complains

that you lost your shine

but he’s the one

who dimmed your light

 

Thank you for playing,

-MC

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