The Sun and Her Flowers is the second collection of poems written by Rupi Kaur, following her #1 New York Best Seller for 52 consecutive weeks, milk and honey. This long awaited sequel was published 2 years after the first anthology got a second print in 2014.
Adorned with hand-drawn illustrations, the books were designed cover-to-cover by Kaur and are perfectly imperfect in the best way. They are messy, but that only adds to their character and aesthetic qualities. The drawings reflect on the poems, which don’t use conventional English grammar nor fit any type of structure at all. Despite these “flaws”, the publication has sold millions and its popularity continues to grow.
There is no capitalization in her works, and people often criticize it as a cliché attempt to seem edgy. This also applies to her lack of punctuation and seemingly
random line breaks. However, what is not known is that Kaur is from Punjabi descent, which is relevant because Gurmukhi script has the same qualities. There are no uppercase or lowercase letters, and the only punctuation is the period. Kaur says that writing in this way is “less about breaking the rules of English, but more about tying in my own history and heritage within my work.”
The Tumblr-esque nature of the poetry has drawn in millions as the topics and themes of the writing instill relatable emotions as well as empowering advice. This connection with the poems is shared by both her audience and Kaur herself, who says, “it’s like becoming my own best friend and giving myself the advice I need.”
Common themes include self acceptance, growth, femininity, heartbreak, and moving on. The relatable words describe feelings that are very difficult to pinpoint, but some of the works seem unoriginal or conventional as if you’ve heard it somewhere else before. For example, page 113 reads: “and here you are living / despite it all.” This seems to be limited to her shorter poems, however, because the longer poems are often her own real experiences.
The beautifully constructed poems are often minimalistic, but the motifs still shine through and are thought provoking. They often reference the weather, such as the winds of change or cleansing rain. The lengthier pieces feel like a story, but are still inspiring and have unique perspectives such as personal experiences with her psychologist.
The aura is often melancholic, but there are also surges of empowerment and togetherness. An effect of this includes how the people all relate and feel a little less lonely or alienated due to the knowledge that other people can feel the same emotions. That is one of the reasons I love her poetry: it is relatable and helps people get through adversities as well as give advice in a way. Kaur’s words always make me ponder the meanings behind her abstract words. This allows for a unique interpretation from person to person, and only strengthens my admiration of the book. If you have time, pick up the book at your local bookstore or check out Kaur’s instagram @rupikaur_ where she often posts excerpts of her own poems.
Final rating: 4.5/5