POETRY I SWEAR BY

 Milk and Honey Vs Questions for Ada 

Title: Milk and Honey 

Author: Rupi Kaur

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You pick this one not to read ‘traditional poetry’ but to strip yourself. The free verse has lines which make you say them out loud so you’re forced to think about them. It also has some segmented prose – cum poetry. ‘Milk and Honey’ is divided into four sections; the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing.  It ‘s a journey towards self-love.

Perhaps it’s popularity stems from the universal relatability of the poems.

I loved the simple illustrations.   

                             

the next time he
points out the
hair on your legs is
growing back remind
that boy your body
is not his home
he is a guest
warn him to
never outstep
his welcome
again

Whether it’s poetry in the lyrical form I don’t know but capitalizing on emotions did it for me, at least for a good number of them. The ‘loving’ was my best. A few sounded a little too cliché. How many times have you heard/ read this?

who tricked you
into believing
another person
was meant to complete you
when the most they can do is complement”

This also sounds like lazy writing; somewhat ‘teenish’.

you might not have been my first love
but you were the love that made
all the other loves
irrelevant

If you are a woman. If you have loved. Have been loved. Have hurt. Are looking for healing. You might want to read this.

 Title: Questions for Ada

Author: Ijeoma Umebinyuo

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This one deeply spoke to me about me. It is about what being a woman. The poems and prose are love; they’re family, they’re home.

Some of them are words you want to keep; some are stories you want to tell yourself every morning.

You must let the pain visit.
You must allow it teach you
You must not allow it overstay.

I read this when I want I need to survive. When I need to close the book and cry about healing.

I have always wondered 
how women who carry war
inside their bones
still grow flowers
between their teeth.

forcing manhood
on boys with skin
still made of
silk and mother’s love
is cruel.

Be kind to your body,
it has won so many wars.

so many broken children
living in grown bodies
mimicking adult lives.

You don’t read these poems while stuck on traffic. They demand your presence. They break you and mend you up.

I read them when I need a woman to speak life into me, because sometimes, only a woman can.

“I am writing for all these women who still show up with a smile after battling their demons the night before.”

This is womanhood as a shared experience. A call. A celebration of post pain and reaching depths within a woman’s soul. Woman pride.

They ooze so much strength in vulnerability.

But that’s the thing with good poetry. Like someone said, ‘It touches you in a way that words cannot express.’

These poems scream power. When I feel vulnerable; when life is holding me by the edge of a cliff, I read this;

Ada, are you in love? Yes.

Is being in a relationship hard work? Yes

Do you write love poems for your lover?

Every day.

Does your lover believe in you?

Yes, but sometimes I fear my lover does not

comprehend her light.

What do you do on those days?

I bathe her, I play some Jazz,

I fed her, I weep for her.

Describe her in a sentence.

Her eyes carry strength,

her words scratch, she speaks love.

Ada, are you in love? Yes.

Is being in a relationship hard work? Yes.

Who is your lover? Myself.

** Both of them profess and affirm womanhood in a universal and relatable way.

I liked Milk and Honey but I swear by ‘Questions for Ada’. What about you?

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