文學，有時候可以說是一件與藝術一樣小眾的事情，而當創作型態來到「詩」這種更需要意境烘托的文體時，我們似乎從來不會將之與暢銷兩字做出聯想。然而，這對詩人 Rupi Kaur 來說並不成立，畢竟這一位作品襲捲 Instagram 的 25 歲印度裔加拿大女孩所推出的詩集《Milk and Honey》，可是在《紐約時報》的暢銷書排行榜上蟬連數個月，並成為今年度最暢銷的大人書籍。
from top left – milk and honey has landed in italy. china. portugal. brazil. and south korea in their respective languages. not pictured is the polish language edition – shoutouts to polish readers #mlekoimiód you're on fire! and of course their spanish sister hit bookshelves a few months ago. get a copy at your country's local bookstore. each translation takes a life of its own and seeing that process grow has been so special for us (it feels like collecting pokemon tbh. all childhood dreams being fulfilled ATM). we've signed for about 20 more languages coming in the next year. stay tuned 🙂
這股從 Instagram 上竄起的讀詩潮，也進而捧紅了許多充滿才華的「Instapoet」們，以美麗的插畫創作伴隨細膩文字的圖文詩人 Rupi Kaur 更是這波浪潮下備受矚目的新星，她的創作不僅吸引了 180 萬個粉絲追蹤，更在十月初推出了同樣受歡迎的第二本詩集：《The Sun and Her Flowers》。
究竟為什麼 Rupi Kaur 能夠重新勾起人們對文字的渴望與愛慕呢？就讓我們多揭露一些她的內心世界，尋訪她打動人心的秘密吧。
印度裔的旁遮普 (Punjabi) 女孩 Rupi Kaur，在年僅四歲時就跟著父親舉家移居加拿大多倫多。一開始，Rupi Kaur 的父母與大多數印度移民父母們一樣，希望女兒跟著趨勢攻讀科學，並且阻止了 Rupi Kaur 最一開始渴望進入時尚學院的夢想，但是 Rupi Kaur 還是選擇進入自己較有興趣的商學院，並一直維持著自己對書寫及插畫的興趣。
「我一開始並沒有想出書。」對於現在的成功，Rupi Kaur 有些輕描淡寫地說道。Rupi Kaur 只是注意到了自己對於文字的熱情，並在多年前就開始將自己的書寫作品存放於部落格平台 Tumblr 上。2014 年，她透過 Amazon 的「CreateSpace」首度出版了詩集《Milk and Honey》，而到了 2015 年，她才透過經常為網路創作者的文字進行整理並出版的出版商 Andrews McMeel 推出實體書籍。
爭議攝影作品遭 Instagram 撤下，開始受到許多人關注
對 Rupi Kaur 來說，大家開始注意到她的作品，是從一組標題為《經期。(Period.)》的攝影系列開始。這個由 Rupi Kaur 自己執導的系列攝影作品，原是她大學畢業前，一門稱為「視覺修辭 (Visual Rhetoric)」課程中的作業。在影像當中，Rupi Kaur 背對鏡頭躺在床上，她的棉褲滲出了經血。當 Rupi Kaur 將這張攝影作品發佈於 Instagram 時，照片遭到檢舉，並且被 Instagram 撤下，Rupi Kaur 難過地寫道：「他們的父權主義滲出來了，他們的厭女症 (misogyny) 滲出來了。」
thank you @instagram for providing me with the exact response my work was created to critique. you deleted a photo of a woman who is fully covered and menstruating stating that it goes against community guidelines when your guidelines outline that it is nothing but acceptable. the girl is fully clothed. the photo is mine. it is not attacking a certain group. nor is it spam. and because it does not break those guidelines i will repost it again. i will not apologize for not feeding the ego and pride of misogynist society that will have my body in an underwear but not be okay with a small leak. when your pages are filled with countless photos/accounts where women (so many who are underage) are objectified. pornified. and treated less than human. thank you. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ this image is a part of my photoseries project for my visual rhetoric course. you can view the full series at rupikaur.com the photos were shot by myself and @prabhkaur1 (and no. the blood. is not real.) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ i bleed each month to help make humankind a possibility. my womb is home to the divine. a source of life for our species. whether i choose to create or not. but very few times it is seen that way. in older civilizations this blood was considered holy. in some it still is. but a majority of people. societies. and communities shun this natural process. some are more comfortable with the pornification of women. the sexualization of women. the violence and degradation of women than this. they cannot be bothered to express their disgust about all that. but will be angered and bothered by this. we menstruate and they see it as dirty. attention seeking. sick. a burden. as if this process is less natural than breathing. as if it is not a bridge between this universe and the last. as if this process is not love. labour. life. selfless and strikingly beautiful.
在那之後，Instagram 將這張照片恢復，並聲明當時為「誤撤」，但是這個事件已經讓 Rupi Kaur 成為「解放月經」的女權英雄。事件過後，Rupi Kaur 更在這些溫和卻寫實的影像之下，添入了她極為貼近女性的自白，她寫道：「我每個月都流血，以提供人類一個可能性。我的子宮是人性的歸屬。是我們物種的一種生命狀態。 (I bleed each month to help make humankind a possibility. My womb is home to the divine. A source of life for our species.)」她更繼續描述人們對月經這件事的負面觀感，並提醒人們從觀看影像之時可能產升的噁心感，自省整個社會對女性的歧視與不平。
身為女性，Rupi Kaur 的詩篇就像是對女孩們呢喃不斷的細語，她以對女性縝密的觀察及了解，一點一點以文字陪伴著女孩們去「照顧自己」── 不僅是從外在去幫助女孩思索自己的行為，更從心裡去療癒安撫在世界裡碰撞的靈魂。
chapter one: the hurting (from milk and honey) ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ 27 pages. each page with it's own poem/ prose piece. 17 of which are unseen and unreleased online. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ 'the hurting' opens up with the voice of a young woman reflecting on her childhood. through the exploration of trauma experienced through rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence she takes readers through the motions of what it means to endure in a world that so often tries to swallow you whole. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ 'the hurting' is personally my favourite chapter, as it is the most raw and most unsettling of the collection. it is unapologetic and unwilling to be easy on the reader. in the same way that such painful experiences are uneasy on their survivors.
chapter two: the loving (from milk and honey) ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ 29 pages. each page with it's own poem/prose piece. 16 of which are unseen and unreleased online. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ 'the loving' is a wild and open chapter. it transitions readers from our speaker's painful physical experiences from chapter one, to much more consensual. sensual. enjoyable ones. 'the loving' showcases the possibility of overcoming traumas. the possibility of trust. safety. pleasure. control. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ this chapter is for the people that want to start fires. for anyone that has endured violence. this chapter is for you. a reminder that *you* are able and allowed to take ownership of the body you live in. that it is yours and not anyone else's. that good experiences are more than possible even after such bad ones. this chapter is proof that even after all 'the hurting', 'the loving' is ready as soon as you are.
一位屬於 Instagram 的詩人，一位書寫「人類共鳴」的詩人
不斷在 Instagram 創作著文字、插畫、並囊括許多攝影作品的 Rupi Kaur，其實就是一位書寫著全人類共有的經驗的詩人。這些深刻體悟被 Rupi Kaur 以美學細細梳理，並以多樣的創作方式呈現表演，Rupi Kaur 不以沈重傳講，反而以最輕盈的口吻，帶出生命難免往復躊躇的真實平衡感。
Cover / Photos: rupikaur_