What Rupi Kaur Taught Me About Poetry

When the world feels like a harsh place, I often find myself retreating into the pages of my poetry books. Somehow, a few words splattered across a page had the ability to make me feel so seen and heard. So understood. Rupi Kaur understood me at some of my darkest moments, even when she does not personally know me. This is the power of poetry. Short and concise, yet it always hits close to home. I’ve always been interested in writing poetry, but I’ve never felt like I was skilled enough to write it.

In an interview with Emma Watson, Kaur talked about the process of writing poetry and how there’s no right way to compose it. She talked about how she would just spend time away, writing for hours. She would then edit her work after she got all of the words out. The idea of that seems so beautiful to me, getting all of our thoughts out on a page with no filter or judgment. It is a conversation that we get to have with ourselves and that kind of clarity really helps us put things into perspective.Via Pinterest

Related: Book Review: Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Kaur also talked about how people are uncomfortable with poems about trauma, abuse and feminism, and that they would rather see poems about love. From her, I learned that it is important to give all these sensitive topics a spotlight and write about what I’d want to write, rather than what is expected of me. She talked about how she initially almost gave in to only putting love poems in her book but later decided that she would be a voice to topics like trauma and abuse.Via Odyssey

Her poetry taught me that I need to be true to myself and write about things that matter to me. To take all that pain, and put it into verses that would be cathartic for another woman to read. A lot of us are afraid to talk about trauma and abuse, but I’ve learned that reading poetry about it can make us all feel less alone in our personal struggles. Poetry is where we empower ourselves by giving a voice to experiences that shatter us or mold us.

However, the most important lesson that I learned from her is that my experience as an Indian woman is different from the experiences another woman may have and this is really where intersectionality arises. My voice is unique and I can speak to my own experiences. Rupi Kaur motivated me to pick up my pen, put pen to paper and just write. Write without worrying about rhyming or using complicated language and focus on just being true to myself and my experiences.

Via Giphy