#OwnVoices · Books · Diverse Books · Reviews · South Asian

Mini-Reviews: Poetry Collections by Rupi Kaur, Amanda Lovelace, & Ayesha Khan

Recently, I have been on a massive poetry kick. I have been reading as many poems as I can, and have even began compiling a collection of personal poems that I hope to get published one day. Most of the collections that I read were rather mediocre, unfortunately. This doesn’t mean that they were bad by any means, just not my cup of chai, which is perfectly okay! There was one collection in particular, however, that made my heart swoon completely.

In this collection of mini-reviews, I chat about The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur, The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace, and Heart: An Insight Into Our Ability to Love, Hurt, Forgive, and Move on by Ayesha Khan.


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The Sun and Her Flowers is written by Rupi Kaur, a Punjabi-Canadian woman, and is her second published collection of poems. Her first was Milk and Honey.

🌻 This collection of poetry focuses on love, loss, femininity, self-love, and the difficulties of being a brown-skinned woman.
🌻 Not many poems have the same level of emotional intensity that was found in her previous collection; it was an aspect that I found comfort in and missed it here.
🌻 A lot of the poems were a tad bit mediocre in their execution, and rather unoriginal all around.
🌻 The raw intensity of how she explores her trauma and the descriptions of how she discovered self-love, particularly within healthy relationships, was beautiful and intimate.
🌻 Her poems pertaining to healthy relationships and the details of how they helped her change into a more self-love focused individual resonated the most with me.
🌻 Overall, the collection is pleasant, and it definitely has a handful of poems that stood out much more than the others in terms of their candid and emotional depth, but all in all, it lacked a lot of the “wow” factors found in Milk and Honey.
🌻 3.5 flowers outta 5!


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The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace is the author’s debut book that focuses heavily on women empowerment and being the hero to your own circumstances.

👑 Initially, upon finishing the collection, I loved it and found it to be quite honest, revealing even. Yet, after a second read through shortly afterwards, I’ve come to realise that the collection isn’t that great in its entirety.
👑 My biggest qualm with this collection is the format of the poems; I felt like someone hit ENTER after every single word in a standard sentence to give it the appearance of a traditional poem, but without any of the lyrical and emotional meat that goes into one.
👑 While most of her poems fit this basic outline, there are some that are beautifully fleshed out and do a tremendous job of exploring gender inequality, specifically between men and women, as well as abuse in multiple kinds of relationships. Those were my absolute favourites.
👑 I am a traditionalist when it comes to poetry (think Poe, Dickinson, Shakespeare, etc.) and as such, this collection just wasn’t my cup of chai, which is totally cool! I can very easily see this having a much different impact (a more positive one) on an array of readers out there, as such I recommend this to folks who are new to the genre and looking to read something that is more straightforward and less complex.
👑 2.75 towers outta 5!


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Heart: An Insight Into Our Ability to Love, Hurt, Forgive, and Move On by Ayesha Khan is my favourite collection out of all three of these. Ms. Khan is a South-Asian Muslima woman, who is my new favourite modern poet.

🌹 This collection beautifully explores love, heartbreak, and conflicts with faith–all of which I felt connected to intimately, particularly the latter.
🌹  The poetic format is simple and straightforward, similarly to Kaur’s poetry, yet the passages evoked raw, candid feelings that Kaur’s collection lacked.
🌹  There is immense subtlety in her work involving intimacy and inner struggles with faith and creed; I felt like I was reading a passage from the darkest corners of my own brain.
🌹 The prose and format, in their entirety, began to feel sufficiently under-developed and oversimplified to be labelled as “poetry;” similarly to Lovelace’s format (but I’m an old-school poet who enjoys dark, meaty metaphors and profound imagery).
🌹  The collection read like a personal journal, filled with secretive entries.
🌹  Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed Heart and look forward to reading more work from Ayesha Khan, hopefully with more flesh to the content.
🌹 3.75  smiles outta 5!

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