I was thrilled when the brilliant Christine Ray of Brave and Reckless asked me to read and review an advanced copy of her debut collection, ‘Composition of a Woman’, and let me tell you guys, you are going to want to mark your calendars for its July 31st release date! This book is fire, unbridled, out of control, glorious fire!
Composition of A Woman – Advanced Book Review
Christine Ray’s debut collection ‘Composition of a Woman’ is an extraordinary glimpse into the essence of what it takes to make, and sometimes simultaneously break, a woman as strikingly powerful as she is beautiful.
Christine Ray brilliantly split ‘Composition’ into five thoughtful sections that work together beautifully to deliver the maximum impact of each poem while taking the reader deeper into a stunning journey of the mind, the body, the very soul of this person. In Composition, Christine Ray reveals so much of what we try to hide, and she does so while dancing between ruthlessly beautiful and heartbreakingly painful.
While Ray’s work is often merciless in its unapologetic, in-your-face delivery
the mean girls smelled
like cruelty mixed with uncertainty
disdain peppered with insecurity
ravenous hunger and envy
(What Little Girls Are Made Of)
it is never short of exquisite
she brings black roses
fireflies like stars in her sky
bare feet caress the dewy ground
night blooming jasmine
reaching up to brush her opal skin
(Black Roses and Moonlight)
nor is it ever lacking in white-hot power
I will travel the ancient ways
clothed only in my dark tresses
my alabaster skin
don a crown of rose and poppy
their scent filling the air
I will take back this night
shape its darkness with my hands
make it blaze with stars and moonlight
create a road for my daughters and sisters
to follow home
Christine Ray holds nothing back when she writes about the pain of depression and a failing body. She is raw and unashamed when she speaks to sexuality and the way society still reeks of misogyny and the absence of humanity. But at her very best she is empowering, speaking to the brave and reckless women who she lovingly refers to as sisters.
‘Composition’ is a beautiful book that takes the time to acknowledge that while some of the weight we carry through life may not be ours to carry, sometimes carrying it is just as important as knowing when to let it all go.
Find more of Christine’s work, and the work of those she champions at:
Sudden Denouement Publishing has definitely picked another winner with Christine Ray!