R Rupi Kaur

how is it so easy for you by Rupi Kaur

‘how is it so easy for you’ by Rupi Kaur is a beautiful poem that expresses a speaker’s reasoning behind her kindness.

how is it so easy for you by Rupi Kaur Visual Representation

As with most of Kaur’s poems, this one is accompanied by an illustration. In this case, a jar of honey open with flies around it. These line drawings are completed by the poet herself and add to the reader’s overall experience with the piece. 

how is it so easy for you by Rupi Kaur


Summary

‘how is it so easy for you’ by Rupi Kaur is a short and powerful poem about why someone is kind to everyone they meet.

The poem uses two different speakers, a man, and a woman, the latter is presumably the poet herself. The man asks her why it’s so easy for her to be kind “to people.” She answers that people have not always been kind to her. In between these two statements, Kaur includes a striking image, that of milk and honey dripping from her lips, two substances that are meant to embody a feeling of nourishment and wholesomeness. 

You can read the full poem here.

Structure and Form 

‘how is it so easy for you’ by Rupi Kaur is a three-stanza poem that is separated into sets of two lines, known as couplets. These couplets do not follow a specific rhyme scheme or metrical pattern. Meaning, they are written in free verse. This is common for Kaur’s verse. As is the fact that she chose not to use any punctuation or capitalization, including of the first-person pronoun “I.” By making these decisions, she creates a more causal-sounding and feeling tone for the piece. It is evocative of the conversation at the heart of the content. 

Literary Devices 

Throughout this poem, the poet makes use of several literary devices. These include but are not limited to: 

  • Imagery: can be seen when the poet uses particularly interesting descriptions. For example, “milk and honey dripped  / from my lips…” 
  • Enjambment: occurs when the poet cuts off a line before the natural stopping point. For example, the transition between lines one and two as well as lines three and four. 
  • Allusion: a reference to something outside the scope of a poem. In this case, the speaker refers to times in which people have been unkind to her. There are no details presented in regard to how exactly these people acted or why. 


Detailed Analysis 

Lines 1-2 

how is it so easy for you

[…]

In the first lines of ‘how is it so easy for you,’ the poet begins by including the words of a man. His identity is unknown, as is his relationship to the poet. He asks her how it is “so easy” for her to be kind to people. This suggests that in his experience, it’s not quite so easy. The poet, or at least the persona she’s using in this poem, appears to have a far easier time with it. 

Readers should note that Kaur uses italics to emphasize that some parts of this poem are dialogue shared between the two people and other words are descriptions.

Lines 3-4 

milk and honey dripped 

[…]

In the second couplet, the speaker notes how, as she’s contemplating her answer, “milk and honey dripped / from [her] lips.” This line stands out among the rest as a great example of imagery and metaphor for the kindness that the speaker exhibits throughout her everyday experience. The two substances represent the general goodness she tries to carry throughout her life and are symbols of substance and kindness. Both milk and honey bring to mind images of care, warmth, and nourishment. 

Lines 5-6 

cause people have not 

[…]

The final two lines of the poem are the poet’s answer. She explains that she is always kind because others have not always been “kind to” her. She knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of cruelty and hurt and has no desire to continue that cycle. 

FAQs 

What is the purpose of ‘how is it so easy for you?’

The purpose of this poem is to show how it’s possible for one to be kind to others even when they aren’t kind to you. It’s only through this powerful act that one ends the cruelty that often plagues the world. 

Who are the speakers in ‘how is it so easy for you?’

The speakers in this poem are a man and a woman. The latter is likely meant to be the poet herself, while the former is unknown. It is someone the poet knows and who has seen her act with kindness towards everyone she meets.

What is the theme of ‘how is it so easy for you?’

The main theme of this poem is the continuation and importance of kindness. By being kind to others, even when they aren’t kind to you, is a way of showing the power of the act. It is also how one might stop a cycle of cruelty. 

What is the format of ‘how is it so easy for you?’

The poem is written in free verse, as are most of Kaur’s poems. It is also divided into sets of two lines, known as couplets. There are three of these total. 


Similar Poetry 

Readers who enjoyed this poem should also consider reading some other Rupi Kaur poems. For example: 

  • Legacy–  this is one of Rupi Kaur’s best-known poems. It is about the sacrifices women have made throughout time to improve the lives of women who followed.
  • Other related poems include: 
  • Kindnessby Naomi Shihab Nye  – upholds the value of kindness in the modern world and how we can incorporate this attitude into our hearts.
  • Once the World Was Perfectby Joy Harjo – explores the loss, and regaining, of the perfect state of the world. 

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how is it so easy for you by Rupi Kaur Visual Representation
About
Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues through analyzing poetry on Poem Analysis.
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