Milk and Honey Parodies refers to images made in parody of the poetry book Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. The book's relatively straightforward presentation of poetry influenced the parodies, as people edited pages of the book to include texts from popular memes.
Kaur originally self-published Milk and Honey on Amazon in 2014. The book was re-released on October of 2015 after being picked up by Andrews McMeel Publishing. It was on the New York Times Bestseller list for a full year and has sold over 1 million copies (excerpt shown below).
As the book grew very popular, it became the subject of parodies on Twitter from those who did not find the poetry as appealing as others. One of the early popular parodies was posted by @ricardojkay on June 24th, 2017, gaining over 19,000 retweets and 44,000 likes (shown below).
In the coming months, more parodies would appear online either in text posts or in photoshopped images of the book's pages. A noticeable trend in the jokes is the use of the texts from popular Vine videos in the parodies. Two Vines often quoted are "What the fuck is up Kyle?" and "Miss Keisha" (examples shown below).
Other popular uses of the meme involve taking text from viral videos and memes and making it appear as though it were a poem from the book by inserting line breaks. For example, on August 5th, @implicittrees uploaded a parody using the text from the Two bros chillin' in a hot tub meme, gaining over 5,000 retweets and 13,000 likes (shown below, left). On August 6th, @EmilyEssex15 uploaded a version using the text from I Love This Woman and Her Curvy Body (shown below, right).
Milk and Vine
On November 3rd, 2017, Twitter user Adam Gasiewski tweeted pictures of a book he and Emily Beck created called Milk and Vine, a parody of Milk and Honey in which texts from popular Vines are stylized like Rupi Kaur poetry. The tweet gained over 63,000 retweets and 150,000 likes (shown below).
This was the first mention of the book online, which had been published just prior. Following that tweet, the book began going viral as many purchased the book and tweeted about it praising it. The popularity of the book led to it being the number 1 bestseller on Amazon on November 7th. On November 8th, Buzzfeed wrote about the book, calling it a "way, way better" version of Kaur's work. While many enjoyed the book, detractors found it a cheap way of piggybacking off Kaur's success. Teen Vogue writer Aditi Natasha Kini called the book exemplary of "white mediocrity." It was also critiqued for stealing Viner's work without credit. Gasiewski and Beck said that they never expected the book to become so popular and would be releasing new editions with as much credit given to the original Vines as they could find. The book and its success was covered by Select All.