I like poetry, but not all poetry. I prefer contemporary to classic. I like poems that are easy to understand, ones that are straight forward and one does not need to swim through “64 thousand-dollar words” to find the meaning of the poem. Home Body (the third collection of poetry Rupi Kaur) hits all the marks that I like. There are contemporary themes and writing style, straight forwardness and adult language, but it is not “sugary, literary, aren’t-I-smart-I-use-big-words” content.
The themes of the poems you have heard before. However, at the same time, Kaur has made them fresh. The poet has a maturity to their words that makes them seem older than their 20-something age. And at the same time, she is a young, modern voice as well. She deals with life, love, family, anxiety, self-esteem and much more. Each poem (mostly shorter in style) has a theme of its own, but flow into each other.
The illustrations are poems in themselves. They perfectly compliment the text. I have not read their other collections but think I just might now. There is something here that is both ambitious and comfortable at the same time. The style of Kaur’s collection reminds me of Gabbie Hanna (since the poet is also the illustrator), but there the comparisons end. Hanna does not skimp on the “adult” in their work, but from page one, Kaur has a maturity and seriousness in both the text and art that Hanna does not have. Hanna’s work (while equally strong and I highly recommend) has a lighter feel from the start.
Teens (mature 14-15 on up) and adults can both enjoy this collection. However, I know more adults that will enjoy than teens. I cannot see this as a gift (mostly as I do not know anyone who I could recommend it to), but it is something you should try for yourself, then find the person you can give a copy too.