A Night With Rupi Kaur

by Jordan Steyer

I used to hate poetry – I’m still not the biggest fan. milk and honey was overrated and I refused to get near it because of the backlash it received. But like all good things, it found me when I needed it the most.

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed when this poem popped up:  

“i was music / but you had your ears cut off”

My boyfriend at the time broke up with me and we had an inside thing about music. This poem hit me in a way that I never expected.

When the sun and her flowers dropped and she announced that she was coming to Austin, I knew I wanted to see her. After all, those ten words that she wrote changed me and I wanted to see what she was like in person.

Barefoot and reading to a full house.

The event, An Evening with Rupi Kaur, was hosted by Urban Outfitters at Space 24 Twenty on Guadalupe. The show started around 7 and Rupi read poems from her new book to a packed house for an hour and a half. Being an amateur of poetry readings, Rupi explained what to expect. “We might laugh a little bit,” she said. “We might cry… I don’t want you to cry though. I want this to be a good time.” And it was. You could hear the passion and the meaning in her voice with every poem she read. She selected a few poems from each chapter to describe and read. Toward the end of the event, she even read from milk and honey.

You could hear the passion and the meaning in her voice with every poem she read. She selected a few poems from each chapter to describe and read. Toward the end of the event, she even read from milk and honey.

Rupi Kaur is powerful. You can see it in the way she speaks and by the subject matters she addresses in her poems. the sun and her flowers talks about love, loss, and family. But the underlying themes of her poetry runs deeper than that: she’s not afraid to speak about feminism, immigration, rape, mental illnesses or sexual empowerment. 

Reciting from the sun and her flowers.

Her novel is full of relatable content, but two readings spoke to me the most.

“even if they’ve been separated / they’ll end up together / you can’t keep lovers apart / no matter how much / i pluck and pull them / my eyebrows always / find their way / back to each other / -unibrow”

She explained that her brother always had a problem with his unibrow, but the way she describes eyebrows and having to keep them up is so eloquent. It’s such a basic subject yet so nicely put.

“it isn’t what we left behind / that breaks me / it’s what we could’ve built / had we stayed”

The simplicity and rawness of poems like these are what makes Kaur so unique. She’s able to put pen to paper down to make the simplest, more pure emotions in life a universal experience.  

I think there’s a section in the sun and her flowers for everyone. I know I definitely found my place with Rupi Kaur.

 

Jordan Steyer is a second-year journalism major from El Paso, Texas. In her spare time, she enjoys taking photos and trying new coffee shops. 

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