The day I finished reading, The Sun and Her Flowers, I saw an interview with the 20-something poet and also learned about the international admiration for this book, which has been quickly translated into numerous languages. Apparently, Rupi Kaur’s fame began with a controversial Instagram image.
I like how the author has made the idea of poetry popular, which by itself is an immense achievement. Born in India, the poet was raised in the west with a multicultural family awareness, which I know something about from my own experience. Overall, the poetry style seems quite innovative.
I was struck by how the poems in The Sun and Her Flowers dramatically expand the possibilities of the genre. Sometimes, the poems are simply short statements; other times, there are italicized summaries at the end (which serve as captions; there are no titles). Often the language seems designed to jolt and surprise. At other times, the poems are quite prosaic.
In the interview, the poet responded to critics, who have called her too simplistic, by saying she was fine with that, but in the end she wanted the reader’s stomach to turn.
Though this book is interesting, in the future I would like to see the kind of poetic mastery that could, perhaps, slow down the reader in order to deepen one’s experience, move one towards a rich, intuitive silence and keep the poems from falling flat emotionally.