inside sadness is glory / if you see it right way round, / find the seam, reverse it to perspectivize, / unwind light, joy's unravelling spool
Inspired by mystical traditions, birdwatching, tree planting, ethics, neuropsychology, and quantum physics, Gabrielle McIntire's poems draw us in with their passionate attention to what it means to be human in a still-wondrous natural environment.
Touching on human frailty, the eternal, and the ecological with a delicate and evocative brush, Unbound enacts an almost prayerful attentiveness to the earth's creatures and landscapes while it offers both mournful and humorous treatments of love and loss. McIntire's finely tuned musical voice – with its incantatory rhythms, rhymes, sound play, and entrancing double meanings – invites us to be courageously open to the unexpected.
Unbound stirs us to re-evaluate our place amidst the astonishing beauty and wisdom of an Earth facing the early stages of climate change.
About the author
Gabrielle McIntire is professor of English at Queen's University. She lives in Kingston, Ontario.
"The poems in Unbound inhabit their moments fully, embracing the paradox that befalls a linguistic creature listening beyond language. They can mourn the dire 'alchemy of earth become dirt' in a clear-cut yet still find glory in the black-capped chickadee's 'sad wanting in the air': excellent trail companions in days of ecological stress and grief." Don McKay, author of Paradoxides
"In this luminous, affirming collection McIntire celebrates parenthood, love, the workings of the landscape, and our place in it, in poems so finely and intelligently wrought they allow us not just to appreciate the world she describes but to become an integral, breathing part of it." John Glenday, author of The Golden Mean
"With urgency and grace, Gabrielle McIntire's poems reveal a whole self, humbled and awed by the act of living. Their attention to the textures of experience gives us the world anew, bringing us into our own lives, our own presences." Stephanie Bolster, author of A Page from the Wonders of Life on Earth