The women’s empowerment movement has grown exponentially since the 1920s. We’re breaking new boundaries and voicing our deepest thoughts on social media to pave the way for inequality, empowerment, and womanhood.
Rupi Kaur is an Indian-born and Canadian poet-writer whose poetry roots began in social platforms like Instagram and Tumblr.
Now, she’s also a New York Times Bestselling author for her books, “Milk And Honey”, “The Sun And Her Flowers”, and “Home Body.”
Her collections of poetry and prose have paved the way through rough times in her life and in every woman’s life with the simplest touch of a pen to paper.
Ever since then, she has grown to be a great poet, one of the most recognized of today’s generation along with other well-known Insta-poets.
A photo posted by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on Oct 6, 2015 at 4:17pm PDT
The total success of Kaur’s poems has opened doors for other aspiring poets and artists because of how intense they are.
Rupi Kaur’s most famous poem collection, “Milk and Honey,” is separated into four sections.
It describes the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing she and others have endured in their lifetime.
The words, “Milk and honey dripped from my lips…” come from one of her most famous poems in the collection, in which she is asked the question of why she finds it so easy to be kind to others.
And her powerful answer is because others have not been kind to her.
When asked by The Huffington Post what prompted her to share her writing, Kaur replied, “It seemed more important for me to express solidarity with women going through similar struggles than to continue being that ‘polite, shy, quiet girl.’”
We all know being a woman is hard, sometimes, but to know that other women are facing almost similar to worse circumstances makes it easier for all of us to stand together and face womanhood together, once and for all.
What should I read if I like Rupi Kaur?
If you need more moving Instagram poetry in your life, check out poets like Cleo Wade, Charly Cox, Nikita Gill, and Lang Leav.
If you want to read more Rupi Kaur quotes from her empowering poems, look no further!
Her words will have you wanting to start a new revolution for women everywhere.
1. “What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? / that since day one. / she’s already had everything / she needs within herself. / it’s the world that / convinced her she did not.”
2. “We all move forward when / we recognize how resilient / and striking the women / around us are.”
3. “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 the most you have to be proud of / when your spirit has crushed mountains / from now on I will say things like, you are resilient / or, you are extraordinary. / Not because I don’t think you’re pretty. / but because you are so much more than that.”
4. “Apparently it is ungrateful of me to mention my period in public cause the actual biology of my body is too real / it is okay to sell what’s between a woman’s legs more than it is okay to mention its inner workings / the recreational use of this body is seen as the beautiful while its nature is seen as ugly.”
5. “you tell me to quiet down cause / my opinions make me less beautiful / but I was not made with a fire in my belly / so I could be put out / I was not made with a lightness in my tongue / so I could be easy to swallow / I was made heavy / half blade and half silk / difficult to forget but / not easy for the mind to follow.”
6. “The next time he / points out the / hair on your legs is / growing back remind / that boy your body / is not his home / he is a guest / warn him to / never outstep / his welcome / again.”
7. “every time you / tell your daughter / you yell at her / out of love / you teach her to confuse / anger with kindness / which seems like a good idea / till she grows up to / trust men who hurt her / cause they look so much / like you.” — to fathers with daughters
8. “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.”
9. “if you are broken / and they have left you / do not question / whether you were / enough / the problem was / you were so enough / they were not able to carry it.”
10. “she is water / soft enough / to offer life / tough enough / to drown it away.”
11. “I will always be scared I am / not beautiful enough for you / or if I am beautiful at all / I will change what I’m / wearing five times before I / see you wondering which pair / of jeans will make my body / more tempting to undress / tell me / is there anything I can do / to make you think, her / she is so striking she makes / my body forget it has knees / write it in a letter and address it / to all the insecure parts of me / my uneven fingers my thin legs / your voice alone drives me to tears / yours telling me I am beautiful / your telling me I am enough.”
12. “the kindest words my father said to me / women like you drown oceans.”
13. “it was when I stopped searching for 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 / that have decided to be whole.”
14. “you must / want to spend / the rest of your life / with yourself / first.”
15. “you tell me / I am not like most girls / and learn to kiss me with your eyes closed / something about the phrase—something about / how I have to be unlike the women / I call sisters in order to be wanted / makes me want to spit your tongue out / like I am supposed to be proud you picked me / as if I should be relieved you think / I’m better than them.”
16. “and here you are living / despite it all.”
Credit: Amazon, Milk and Honey
17. “I have dug my way / out the ground / with palm and fist many times / my whole life has been / one burial after another / I will find my way / out of you just fine.”
18. “you are waiting for someone / who is not coming back / meaning / you are not living your life / hoping someone else will realize / they can’t live theirs without you / but realizations don’t work like that.” — absence of logic and presence of pain
19. “I don’t know what living a balanced life feels like / when I am sad / I don’t cry, I pour / when I am happy / I don’t smile, I beam / when I am angry / I don’t yell, I burn / the good thing about feeling in extremes / is when I love / I give them wings / but perhaps / that isn’t / such a good thing / cause they always / tend to leave and / you should see me / when my heart is broken / I don’t grieve / I shatter.”
20. “the world / gives you / so much pain / and here you are / making gold out of it.” — there is nothing purer than that
21. “what terrifies / me most is / how we foam / at the mouth / with envy / when others / success / but / sigh in relief / when they / are failing / our struggle / to celebrate / each other / is what’s proven / most difficult in / being human.”
22. “we are all born / so beautiful / the greatest tragedy is / being convinced we are not.”
23. “people say things / meant to rip you in half / but you hold the power to not / turn their words into a knife / and cut yourself.”
24. “love is not cruel / we are cruel / love is not a game / we have made a game out of love.” — games
25. “they have no idea what it is like / to lose home at the risk of / never finding home again / have your entire life / split between two lands and / become the bride between two countries.” — first generation immigrant
26. “no / it won’t be love / at first sight when / we meet it’ll be love / at first remembrance cause / i’ve seen you in my mother’s eyes / when she tells me to marry the type / of man i’d want to raise my son to be like.”
Credit: Amazon, Milk and Honey
27. “you leave / but you don’t stay gone / why do you do that / why do you / abandon the thing you want to keep / why do you linger / in a place you do not want to stay / why do you think it’s okay to do both / go and return all at once.”
28. “you must find no worth in yourself / if you think I am worth less / after you’ve touched me / as if worth is something we transfer / as if your hands on my body / could magnify you and then / reduce me to nothing.”
29. “how many times did you / search for me in your fantasies / and end up crying / instead of coming?”
30. “the way they / leave / tells you / everything.” —answers
31. “let it go / let it leave / let it happen/ nothing / in this world / was promised or / belonged to you / anyway.” — all you own is yourself
32. “he isn’t coming back / whispered my head / he has to / sobbed my heart.”
33. “do you need me or / do you need someone / there is a difference.”
34. “i see you and / begin grieving all over again.”
35. “like a flower / eventually grows out of / losing itself to the winter / i’ve grown out of you.”
36. “sometimes / the apology / never comes / when it is wanted / and when it comes / it is neither wanted / nor needed.” — you are too late
37. “you are in the habit / of co-depending / on people to / make up for what / you think you lack / who tricked you / into believing / another person / was meant to complete you / when the most they can do is complement.”
38. “neither of us is happy / neither of us wants to leave / so we keep breaking one another / and calling it love.”
39. “you are the Ikea furniture / he never got around to making / the backup bookshelf / that is too new to throw away / but not nearly tempting to open.” — he keeps you around just in case.
40. “if you were born with / the weakness to fall / you were born with / the strength to rise.”
Credit: Amazon, Milk and Honey
41. “you / have been / taught your legs / are a pit stop for men / that need a place to rest / a vacant body empty enough / for guests but no one / ever comes and is / willing to / stay.”
42. “there is nothing / more painful than / grieving someone / who’s still living.”
43. “you treat them as if / they have a heart like yours / but not everyone can be / as soft and as tender as you / you don’t see / the person they are / you see the person / they have the potential to be / you give and give till / they have taken everything / out of you and leave / you empty.”
44. “tell them i was the / warmest place you knew / and that you turned me cold.”
45. “like the sky / my beloved is everywhere / but next to me.”
46. “when my mother says I deserve better / i snap to your defence out of habit / he still loves me i shout / she looks at me with defeated eyes / the way a parent looks at a child / when they know this is the type of pain / even they can’t fix and says / it means nothing to me if he loves you / if he can’t do a single wretched thing about it.”
47. “you are snakeskin / and i keep shedding you somehow / my mind is forgetting / every exquisite detail of your face / the way your fingers used to / light fire under my skin / is slipping me / the letting go has / become the / forgetting / which is the / most pleasant / or saddest thing / to have happened.”
48. “she was music / but he had his ears cut off.”
49. “it wasn’t you i was kissing / — don’t be mistaken / it was him on my mind / your lips were just convenient.”
50. “accept that you deserve more / than painful love / life is moving / the healthiest thing / for your heart is / to move with it.”
51. “do not look for healing / at the feet of those / who broke you.”
52. “do not bother holding on to / that thing does not want you.” — you cannot make it stay
53. “you pinned / my legs to / the ground / with your feet / and demanded / I stand up.”
54. “i didn’t leave because / i stopped loving you / i left because the longer / i stayed the less / i loved myself.”
55. “our backs / tell stories / no books have / the spine to / carry.” — women of colour
Credit: Amazon, Milk and Honey
56. “it felt like you threw me / so far from myself / i’ve been trying to / find my way back / ever since.”
57. “you were so distant / i forgot you were there at all.”
58. “i will never understand / why you held me / if you were afraid of warmth.” — you should have known i was a fire
59. “but / if you had not stuck a / knife inside me and walked away / how would I have learnt people / do not die from wounds / caused by other people / people die when they forget / they are more than the pain.”
60. “what’s it to me / if you love me or / miss me or need me / when you are doing / nothing to be with me / If you can’t allow me to be / the love of your life I will be / the loss of your life instead.”
61. “i won’t let go cause / being alone hurts more / than chasing someone who’s left / but if you’ve left / aren’t I already alone / and surviving it?”
62. “i am timid / cause falling into you / means falling out of him / and I had not prepared for that.” — forward
63. “i will not have you / walk in and out of me / like an open doorway when / I have too many miracles / happening inside me to be / your convenient option.”
64. “when the phrase I’m sad / becomes synonymous to i won’t be okay / you realize how much it hurt / beginning to end / them coming / them staying / them leaving / was like preparing your body for death / the funeral that came too early / and never left.”
65. “stay / I whispered / as you / shut the door behind you.”
66. “loving you was breathing / but the breath disappearing / before it filled my lungs.” — when it goes too soon
67. “they leave / and act like it never happened / they come back / and act like they never left.” — ghosts
68. “you were not wrong for leaving / you were wrong for coming back / and thinking / you could have me / when it was convenient / and leave when it was not.”
69. “i think my body knew you would not stay.”
70. “what is stronger / than the human heart / which shatters over and over / and still lives?”
71. “i know i / should crumble / for better reasons / but have you seen / that boy / he brings / the sun to / its knees / every night.”
Credit: Amazon, Milk and Honey
72. “the necessity / to protect you / overcame me / my beloved / i love you too much / to remain quiet / while you weep / i rise to kiss the poison out of you / wipe your bruises with my palm / i resist the temptation of my / tired feet and keep marching / with tomorrow in one hand / and a fist in the other / i will carry you to freedom.” — valentine’s day ode to the world
73. “love will come / and when love comes / love will hold you / love will call your name / and you will melt / sometimes though / love will hurt you but / love will never mean to / love will play no games / cause love knows life / has been hard enough already.”
74. “it was as though / someone had slid ice cubes / down the back of my shirt.” — the orgasm
75. “the very thought of you / has my legs spread apart / like an easel with a canvas / begging for art.”
76. “your name is / the strongest / positive and negative / connotation in any language / it either lights me up or / leaves me aching for days.”
77. “you might not have been my first love / but you were the love that made / all the other loves / irrelevant.”
78. “he moved her hand / between her legs / and whispered / make those pretty little fingers / dance for me.”
79. “you wrap your fingers / around my hair / and pull / this / is how you make music / out of me.”
80. “he makes sure to look right at me as he places / his electrical wire fingers on my skin / how does that feel he asks / commanding my attention / responding is out of the question my / lips quivering in anticipation / he smiles / he knows this is what hunger looks like / i am a switchboard / he is the circuits / my hips move with his — rhythmic / my voice isn’t my own when i moan / it is music / he sparks enough electricity inside me / to power cities / when he finishes what he’s started / it is me who looks at him / and says that was magic.”
81. “you are a sucker for firsts. / they always make you feel / a little lighter, like / the first time your / lover’s lips kiss that / tender spot on your neck / nothing puts your / stomach into more knots / than first moments / that remind you / this life is electric / each second is / worth melting for.” — january first
82. “you’ve touched me / without even / touching me.”
83. “the universe took its time on you / crafted you precisely / so you could offer the world / something distinct from everyone else / so when you doubt / how you were created / you doubt an energy greater than us both.”
84. “you look at me and cry / everything hurts / i hold you and whisper / but everything can heal.”
85. “loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself.”
86. “the night after you left / i woke up so broken / the only place to put the pieces / were the bags under my eyes.”
87. “a lot of times / we are angry at other people / for not doing what / we should have done for ourselves.” — responsibility
Michelle Ledesma is a writer and the author of ‘Almost Everything.’ She’s a contributing writer for Slant News, Elite Daily, and Pep and Prose.