Books

Nine important life lessons from cult feminist poet Rupi Kaur

Posted by
Moya Crockett
Published

Not since the Beat movement of the 1950s – when black turtlenecks and jazz were de rigeur, and the likes of Jack Kerouac and Diane di Prima were bona fide celebrities – has poetry been as ‘cool’ as it is right now. Music festivals including Glastonbury, Bestival and Reading now feature poetry stages, while the popularity of spoken-word nights in bars, pubs and theatres around the UK continues to rise. 

Social media, of course, has played a major role in poetry’s new cachet. On YouTube, young female artists such as Kate Tempest, Jess Green and Cecilia Knapp rack up thousands of views for their intimate, compelling performance poetry videos, while others prefer the purely audio medium of Soundcloud. 

But over on Instagram, the undisputed queen of poetry is Rupi Kaur.

Born in the Punjab before emigrating to Toronto with her family as a child, Kaur’s sparse, wrenching poems cover huge themes – love, feminism, national identity, race, heartbreak and body image – with a weight and wisdom belying her 24 years. If she’s not the voice of a generation, her 652,000 Instagram followers and bestselling book suggests she's certainly one of them.

We’ve selected our favourite pieces of Kaur’s poetic wisdom. Happy reading. 

1. Misogynists will never, ever make good boyfriends.  

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

2. In relationships, it’s important to recognise your worth.

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

3. Unless you’ve been an immigrant, you will never quite understand what it feels like – but you can try.

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

4. Her body, her choice.

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

5. You’ll recover from heartbreak, but there’s a process to get through first.

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

6. Never be afraid to speak your mind.

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

7. Moving on won't always feel the way you expected it to.

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

8. Freeing yourself from jealousy is one of the most powerful things you can do.

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

9. Ultimately? You’ve got this.

A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur (Andrews McMeel Publishing, £6.99) is available here. Main image: Instagram/rupikaur_

Topics

Share this article

Author

Moya Crockett

Moya is Women's Editor at stylist.co.uk, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

Related Posts