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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Reading Denise Bryson’s The Sex The Lies The Soul Ties feels like undergoing a sex therapy session. It is a wonderful anthology of narrative poems dealing with what is perhaps God’s most brilliant invention—sex. Sadly, like all inventions with noble intent, we have abused sex for carnal recreation rather than as a sacred and intimate gift meant to reinforce and strengthen relationships. Bryson divides her poetry into three themes. The first section deals with sex in its certain outcomes that are unplanned, and that sexual freedom must come with responsibility. Section 2 talks about the lies and that silence speaks volumes that God can hear, and that He is willing to listen if we pour out our hearts to Him. The third section narrates how God can deliver us from the bondage of lust and, through Christ, such liberation can be uttered unequivocally.
The Sex The Lies The Soul Ties is an enlightening and heart-rending read, albeit sometimes fraught with questions meant to induce guilt. But you are pretty sure where Bryson stands when it comes to sex. Her narrative verses are introspective and are interrogative in nature. Threaded in self-awareness, you can see an emotional and spiritual process in the way her lines spread across the page. In poems like The Unmet Need, where lines vary in structure and are not cut into phrases, you can see that Bryson’s text is thought-provoking yet refreshing at the same time. It is deliberate and straight to the point as if she does not want you to suffer from misinterpretation. This is an anthology that once again proves how poetry is therapeutic and liberating, as Bryson gives expression to a conundrum that is a pure statement and not confabulated analysis.