Do you love culture? Colour? Captivation? If the answer is YES YES YES, you're going to adore Rupi Kaur.
Bedecked in a traditional Sikh dress – like a petal from a late-blooming rose – Rupi Kaur is enchanting. As she appeared outside the stage, just a silhouette, the crowd in Emmanuel Centre church, Westminster, fell silent instantly.
How can a small, slight, twenty-something girl command such attention?
Well, in case you haven’t noticed, Rupi Kaur is the hottest young poet around. So maybe you follow her Instagram or have seen her #1 New York Times bestselling poetry collection, milk and honey. Yes, she decapitalises her name and her poetry, social media style. Yes, she’s making spoken word cool again. Yes, she might well be the most relatable poet around.
And I witnessed an evening with her!
Rupi’s worldwide tour finally led her to London, where she performed sections of new book interspersed with original pieces spoken to gentle, traditional Indian music.
Tired of scrolling through Instagram for that heart-breakingly relatable break up quote? Me too. Rupi does break up in a whole new dimension: she makes it momentous, mournful and concludes with a joke we all understand.
By ‘we’ I mean unattached millennial women – sorry gents, maybe this poetry isn’t for you. The audience was largely female, with some couples, but mainly groups of young women of Asian or Indian descent; Rupi is obviously an idol of womanhood and contemporary cultural art.
After a piece from ‘the sun and her flowers’ (Rupi’s second and newest poetry collection), she then performed an unpublished piece called ‘questions’ for the very first time. On the spot, I decided it was the most beautiful relationship poem I’d ever heard. And I think that’s Rupi’s charm, the simplicity of a phrase reflects perfectly what we all feel. She just manages to put it into words, into an aesthetically marvellous book, and into our shelves at home.
Each alliterative, metaphorical line was met with a smattering of finger-clicking. For those unfamiliar with spoken word (I was!), this is how the audience shows appreciation. A softer, more informal way rather than clapping applause, for me it made the audience feel more connected.
After a set of around one and a half hours, Rupi bowed, thanked, and left to a standing ovation. And as we returned to the Underground at 10 pm, the crowd were all muttering the same ...
She's the next big thing.
Just you wait!
To find out more... www.rupikaur.com
Header image courtesy of Kauffman Centre on Creative Commons.
Centre image courtesy of VIBC on Creative Commons.