Incredible Rupi Kaur Quotes : From The Mind Of The Poet

 
PHOTO: COURTESY Bobby Doherty FOR THE CUT

PHOTO: COURTESY Bobby Doherty FOR THE CUT

 

William Shakespeare. Emily Dickinson. Walt Whitman. Edgar Allen Poe. Maya Angelou.

These are the names of just some of the greatest poets to ever live and grace us with their undeniable talent. 

But who is the Dickinson or Poe or Angelou of our time? Is there even one?

I believe there is, and her name is Rupi Kaur. 

If you haven’t heard of Rupi Kaur, she is a supremely quotable #1 New York Times bestselling author for her poetry books...and everyone is obsessed with her work (and rightfully so).

So, who is Rupi Kaur?

Rupi Kaur in currently 26 years old; she was born in 1992 in India. She and her mother moved to Toronto, Canada when she was just four years old so they could reunite with Rupi’s father, who was living there for his job. Rupi didn’t have the best time adjusting to a new country; she felt very alone. In an interview with India Today, Rupi recalls her difficult childhood:

"You grow up with so much self-hate," she said. "At home my parents would tell me not to go out in the sun because I'd become dark. At school, I would be told I have a very wide frame and I have hair here and hair there and I would just think, 'I'm a mistake!'" 

In 2015, Rupi graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Waterloo where she studied rhetoric writing.

On her FAQ section of her website, Rupi explains how she got into the love of writing:

our trauma escapes the confines of our own times. we’re not just healing from what’s been inflicted onto us as children. my experiences have happened to my mother and her mother and her mother before that. it is generations of pain embedded into our souls.
— Rupi Kaur
i read hundreds of books growing up. but none can explain this torment to me. i need access to words written by people who look like me writing about the things i am going through. at that moment i realize the importance of representation and know this must be different for my children. they must have access to their own literature. i write to document we were here.
— Rupi Kaur

A hand-picked bouquet of Rupi Kaur quotes

love does not look like a person, love is our actions
— Rupi Kaur

***

if you were born with the weakness to fall, you were born with the strength to rise
— Rupi Kaur

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you do not just wake up and become the butterfly—growth is a process
— Rupi Kaur

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you do not just wake up and become the butterfly—growth is a process
— Rupi Kaur

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if I’m not the love of your life I’ll be the greatest loss instead
— Rupi Kaur

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never feel guilty for starting again
— Rupi Kaur

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how you love yourself is how you teach others to love you
— Rupi Kaur

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what is stronger than the human heart which shatters over and over and still lives
— Rupi Kaur

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fall in love with your solitude
— Rupi Kaur

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if you are not enough for yourself you will never be enough for someone else
— Rupi Kaur

***

i thank the universe for taking everything it has taken and giving to me everything it is giving—balance.

Milk and Honey: the book that made her famous 

Before she even graduated, she was already a published author. In 2014, during her junior year of college, Rupi released her first collection of poems: “milk and honey.” It is arguably the most popular poetry book of this generation. Over 2.5 million copies of the book have been sold so far and it has been translated into 30 languages. It’s safe to say Rupi’s words are universal. 

rupi-kaur-quotes-milk-and-honey.jpeg
This name [Kaur] is so important on a bookshelf. That’s the name of every Sikh woman. If I was six years old and I saw this in Barnes and Nobles, I would cry. I would sit there and be like, ‘If she can do it, I can do it.
— Rupi Kaur

Rupi’s poems touch base on powerful subjects such as rape, feminism, abuse, self-love, immigration, mental health, alcoholism, etc. Rupi does not hold back with her poems; she bares her soul for the world to read. Her style of writing is short and sweet; she uses short, raw verses with arbitrary line-breaks. 

Many critics do not like Rupi’s style of poetry; they say it is too harsh, too short, not traditional enough, you name it. But Rupi’s rule-breaking new style is exactly why Millennials like myself are drawn to it. Her words are short and to the point, and hit you right in the heart with their painful relatability. In seven words, Rupi can sum up my love life better than a 500 word poem by a legendary poet from the 1600s. 

Here are a few of my favorite poems from  “milk and honey.”

 i do not want to have you

to fill the empty parts of me

i want to be full on my own

i want to be so complete

i could light a whole city

and then

i want to have you

cause the two of us combined

could set it on fire
— Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
i am a museum full of art

but you had your eyes shut 
— Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
when you are broken

and he has left you

do not question

whether you were

enough

the problem was

you were so enough

he was not able to carry it 
— Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey
people go

but how

they left

always stays
— Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

The crazy thing is, Rupi Kaur self-published “milk and honey.” It’s not like she was signed to a major publishing company that was going to publish her book. She was just one girl who believed and invested in her talent. On August 29, 2018, Rupi wrote a special message on her Facebook page that talked about that pivotal moment:

4 years ago i self published a book called ‘milk and honey’. mostly for myself. i was going through a rough time. i thought maybe some of my friends and family might even buy it. i don’t know how. or why. but the universe decided to catapult this heartfelt project made in my living room- to a book that’s reached the hands of millions. it’s been sitting on the new york times bestsellers list for over two years in a row. this is beyond me. a magic way out of my hands.
— Rupi Kaur

The Sun and Her Flowers

After the huge success Rupi had with  “milk and honey,: she returned to the writing studio and worked on her second collection of poems: “the sun and her flowers,” which was published in 2017 by Andrews McMeel Publishing. In this collection of poems, she writes about topics such as femininity, love, healing, and more. 

When asked how she came up with this title, Rupi said, “i was in love with the way sunflowers worshipped the sun. how they rise with the sun. how they follow the sun around. i thought that was such a beautiful representation of love and relationships.” 

Here are some of my favorite poems from “the sun and her flowers.”

the irony of loneliness

is we all feel it

at the same time

-together
— Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers
it was when i stopped searching from home within others

and lifted the foundations of home within myself

i found there were no roots more intimate

than those between a mind and body

and that have decided to be whole
— Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers
where do we go from here my love

when it’s over and i’m standing between us

whose side do i run to

when every nerve in my body is pulsing for you

when my mouth waters at the thought

when you are pulling me in just by standing there

how do i turn around and choose myself
— Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

Rupi A.K.A the “instapoet”

Along with being a phenomenal poet, Rupu is also a brilliant business woman. Rupi is known as an “instapoet”. She uses instagram (@rupikaur_) to highlight her work and also to shed light on issues women face every day. With more than 3.7 million followers, Rupi is able to make a difference in this world, just with her words. 

In an app that is mostly pictures of models in bikinis showing their seemingly perfect bodies and lives, Rupi is honest and raw with her followers and shares her vulnerable thoughts. It is honestly a breath of fresh air seeing Rupi’s posts when I’m scrolling through Instagram. 

Here’s a video of Rupi talking about her relationship with Instagram, and how she creates a balance between pleasing her followers and pleasing her own creativity and peace of mind. 

What else has Rupi been up to? 

Rupi loves to give poetry readings from her collections. A really cool thing she did about a year ago was a poetry reading on the same stage where she graduated from college. Instead of receiving a diploma, this time she was reading her powerful poems to a group of 800 admiring fans. Talk about full circle. 

Rupi performing at the Rose Theatre in Brampton. Credit: Christina de Melo

Rupi performing at the Rose Theatre in Brampton. Credit: Christina de Melo

Rupi also recently met up with book connoisseur and actor phenomenon, Emma Watson. Emma interviewed Rupi for her book club, The Shared Shelf. In this video, Rupi and Emma talk about Rupi’s journey to poetry stardom and Emma’s deep admiration for Rupi’s work.

“I loved it (the book) as a shorthand for ideas I found really difficult to express myself. I would refer myself to this poem and send them a screenshot…I felt so lucky to have that as a tool… to be like “this is what it feels like”...you’re giving people more words and it’s incredible,” says Watson. 

Rupi is currently on a writing residency at the Space on Ryder Farm, which is a place for artists to continue their work in a beautiful setting, all while giving back to nature. So hopefully this writing residency means that Rupi is working on her third book which I (and the world) need ASAP. 

On a personal note, Rupi has made a huge impact on my life. I’ve always adored poetry and wanted to try writing my own poems, but never thought I had the talent for it. I just couldn’t figure out how to make something impactful and true to me, while following the traditional ways of poetry (like rhyming every other sentence, having it be at least 16 sentences long, etc.) 

When I saw Rupi’s poems and how short and raw they were, and how people were so receptive to this new way of poetry, I thought to myself, “Hey, I can do that!” So I bought a journal and started to pour my thoughts and feelings into it. I quickly had a bunch of short “Rupi Kaur” style poems, only they were my words. I now have 40 poems, and one day, I want to self-publish my very own poetry book, just like Rupi.

Rupi shows us that if you have a dream, go for it. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t hold back and let life or people shut you up.

Thank you Rupi, for sharing your gorgeous talent with us all.

I want to apologize to all the women i have called beautiful

before i’ve called them intelligent or brave

i am sorry i made it sound as though

something as simple as what you’re born with

is all you have to be proud of

when you have broken mountains with your wit 

from now on i will say things like

you are resilient, or you are extraordinary

not because i don’t think you’re beautiful

but because i need you to know

you are more than that
— Rupi Kaur