The best-selling author, feminist, Rupi Kaur, is not just an instapoet or an internet sensation, but also a human sensation. Rupi Kaur is a survivor of abuse. She was born in India and immigrated to Canada as a child. According to Rupi Kaur, poetry is an essential part of the Sikh culture in which she was raised.
She began writing poetry to try to cope with the assault she experienced, to reclaim the body that she had felt her attacker had stolen from her. Rupi Kaur writes about love, sex, race, gender. Amid the anger about how the world treats young women, especially women of color, Rupi Kaur is a new celebration of modern femininity. She has the ability to open her heart and let go of traumatic experiences, sharing those experiences with whoever wants to listen or read. Her truthful approach humanizes her poetry.
She’s the author of “Milk and Honey” that made the internet go crazy, a The New York Times bestselling book for almost 80 weeks in a row. More recently, she launched “The Sun and Her Flowers” that is following the same path as her last book.
Rupi Kaur told The Guardian that “There was no market for poetry about trauma, abuse, loss, love and healing through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh immigrant woman.”
The internet rising
The more Rupi Kaur started releasing short poems to her followers, raw lines about rape, alcoholism and domestic violence, the more they wanted to read. She talked about menstruation and posted several images of herself tainted with blood from menstruation. Insults and threats were launched at her, but the number of fans kept growing, and according to the author “That was really scary,” she says over coffee one sunny afternoon in Toronto. “But they did. They stayed for the poetry and that was such a beautiful gift in disguise.” Instagram backed down on censuring the pictures and things changed after that.
You can feel her struggle when you read this poem. The poem is real, because abuse is not beautiful or pleasant, it’s harsh and cruel. You can feel the abuse, and you can understand the abused person, how that person tries to justify the abuse through self-blame. At the end there’s a reflection, where the abused person stops blaming herself for the abuser’s actions.
This is the most common feeling among victims of abuse, particularly those mistreated by loved ones. The abused person often blames themselves, constantly making excuses for why these actions happen. Yet, no matter how often you change, or try to change or please the abuser, the abuse doesn’t end.
“Don’t pretend like hell learn how; just because you scream stop”. Another common behavior among the abused. You can consistently explain to the abuser how wrong his actions are, but you will just get retaliation, more abuse or attempts to convince the victim why she is the one to blame. This creates a cycle of self-blame and mistreatment.
In the end, there’s that moment when the abused decides to stop justifying his abuse and to stop blaming herself for the actions of the abuser. It’s fearful and strong.
This real poem brings attention to domestic violence and to victim blaming that is still an outcome of the patriarchal society we live in. This poem and Rupi Kaur shows that if you suffer or are suffering from domestic violence, you are not alone, and that you should stop blaming yourself, you are the victim, you are never a reason for this to happen!