On July 24, Twitter users laid blame on Rupi Kaur, author of the bestselling book Milk and Honey, of plagiarizing a fellow Tumbler poet, Nayyirah Waheed. The situation grew worse when Waheed’s fans marked that the African-American poet tried to confront Kaur about the similarity in their work months ago, and was snubbed!
Rupi Kaur who had hit a sale of 1.4 million copies of her first book, Milk and Honey to become a New York Times bestseller, is adored by her fans especially the young women of color, in particular for the subjectivity of her poems. Popular for her short poems discussing womanhood, love, trauma, and healing, Rupi Kaur has recently been accused of plagiarism by another poet, Nayyirah Waheed.
Nayyirah Waheed published a poetry book in 2013 called Salt. Just a year later Kaur’s Milk and Honey got published. Similar to Nayyirah’s poems in her book Salt. in form, style, language, and subjectivity, Rupi has now been put under the microscope of criticism. Even they both used the similar imageries and metaphor, provided Nayyirah’s Salt. was published earlier a year than Kaur’s Milk and Honey.
Kaur's work is grounded in her experiences as a young Sikh, Punjabi woman who immigrated to Canada as a child which makes her words more relatable to those sharing the same crisis and conflict! While Nayyirah writes of love, loss, ethnicity, race, and community, her portrayal of race and her pride are heartrending. Her sharp reflections on pain, alienation, and separation from origins and sources of love are equally relatable by her fans as well.
However, no matter to what conclusion the Tumblerites may reach to, the court is yet to decide the outcomes! Till then may be a little bit of self-investigation on both the poets can help you give a good time finding out the brain-thief on your own!
Just a couple of months ago, Chetan Bhagat was charged with plagiarism by the fellow Bangalore-based writer, Anvita Bajpai. He, however, lost the lawsuit and Bengaluru court granted a temporary injunction on the sale of Bhagat’s book ‘One Indian Girl’.