Things I have Unexpectedly Enjoyed | Graphic Novels and Poetry

There are two types of literature that I had always ruled out as ‘not for me’ they are graphic novels and poetry. Yet in an unexpected twist this month I found myself falling in love with examples of both of these things.

Graphic Novel: Habibi by Craig Thompson

I don’t really know why I never read graphic novels before. I guess I just saw them as comic books, maybe a bit childish and not really my thing. I just thought pictures are unnecessary and they might get in the way of a story, however I had never even tried to read a graphic novel. It was in Waterstones that I stumbled across this large one, and I recognised it because I had heard about it before on booktube. I started reading it, and I was drawn in within the first few pages. I kept going back to read it during my lunch breaks at work until eventually I got halfway through and thought I may as well buy it. (Annoyingly it’s very big and cost £22.50 so really would have appreciated an ebook of this to exist!)

Look how big it is!
The story is set in a fictional land, that mirrors much of the Middle East, about a girl called Dodola and a little boy she called Zam she takes under her wing. It's a bit dark at times and a lot of the images are very sexual and depict sexual violence, which wasn’t really my thing, yet I was so drawn into the story that I could not put it down. I think the friendship between the two is beautiful. I love how this book also explores stories from the Quran and the Bible and offers comparisons of the two.

I didn't look at the images too much, it's hard to explain but there are only 1 or 2 that spring to mind when I think about the book on reflection. For me it is the storyline and not the images that were so poignant. Although I will say that the way the Arabic alphabet is used in the images is so clever and inspiring and the Arabic calligraphy is truly beautiful.

Poetry: Rupi Kaur

I had heard of Rupi Kaur, and Milk and Honey (her first book of poetry) it’s sort of hard not to. But I never actually knew anything about her, or her poetry, just that it was very popular. I had always stayed away from reading it because I’d always assumed it’s not for me. I am not crazy about poetry because I’ve always thought I just wasn’t dense enough for it (I’ve mentioned this briefly before). I like simple poetry and it was all the criticisms of Rupi Kaur that lead me to read her work as everything that people were citing as negatives I saw as a plus. I stumbled across people slating her simplistic style, her short poems, her obvious metaphors and I instantly thought finally this sounds like poetry for me.

I have not read Milk and Honey because I am a little more drawn to The Sun and Her Flower (her latest book) which is all about love. I have been stalking her on Instagram and just love everything about her. I think when people say Rupi Kaur is a bad poet they just mean she’s not writing pretentious elitist poetry that’s not easily accessible. They’re annoyed that she’s written things that are easily understood and resonate with the masses. That doesn’t make her a bad poet I think it just makes  these people snobs.