Main themes: Love, Family, Culture, Self-Acceptance, Feminism
Rating: 4.5 stars
The Sun and Her Flowers is Rupi Kaur’s second collection of poems which portrays meaningful reflections and expressions of different life experiences. In my review of Milk and Honey, I talked about how despite enjoying Kaur’s poetry, it didn’t impact me in the way I had hoped it would. I’m so pleased that The Sun and Her Flowers was a different experience- throughout the whole book, I couldn’t stop thinking ‘wow… so this is what I’ve been waiting for.’
The Sun and Her Flowers is separated into 5 chapters: wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. Kaur portrays how like flowers, humans go through a similar process in their lives and each chapter really did encapsulate the raw emotions attached to this cycle of regrowth. Reading her work this time round, I felt a strong connection to Kaur’s poems and progressing through each chapter felt much more like a journey that I was able to experience too.
I think something that influenced this greatly was the fact that this collection of poems was more diverse in the topics it covered. Kaur talked about colonisation, the practice of killing baby girls, the heartbreak and grief associated with a friendship ending… It was so insightful and stimulating, being able to explore such topics through poetry. Something else that I really loved and thought made The Sun and Her Flowers so special, was Kaur paying homage to her mother in a series of poems. A personal favourite of mine:
“i want to go back in time and sit beside her. document her in a home movie so my eyes can spend the rest of their lives witnessing a miracle. the one whose life i never think of before mine. i want to know what she laughed about with friends. in the village within houses of mud and brick. surrounded by acres of mustard plant and sugarcane. i want to sit with the teenage version of my mother. ask about her dreams. become her pleated braid. the black kohl caressing her eyelids. the flour neatly packed into her fingertips. page in her schoolbooks, even to be a single thread of her cotton dress would be the greatest gift.”
– to witness a miracle
What a testament this poem was to her mother. I loved reading it so much, and it definitely filled me with emotion because I feel like she described how many daughters across the world feel about their own mothers. Have you ever looked at old photographs of your mum, and thought, ‘wow I wish I could have talked to her in that moment, be her friend…’ Kaur just got it so right with this poem. Amazing.
By the end of this book I personally felt renewed. It was a remarkable reading experience, and I know I’ll be revisiting The Sun and Her Flowers many times in the future. This is something I’d highly recommend!