The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit

The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit is about memory of being, being in body, spirit and speculation. It unravels the remembrances and cognitions forged in the mind as it recalls life through images that are intensely reflective, transtemporal, sensual, daunting and mournful, sometimes feeling like never-ending, lazy arias. As we move from poem to poem, we dwell in magnificent displays of sensations, ideas, and moods, happy and sorrowful, pleading and celebratory, allowing ourselves to reconstruct life through the physicality of the body or the world, perceiving their pulsating powers and anchoring ourselves in the house that we sometimes forget we have. The collection is also about memory of place, of family, of birth, and memory obtained through formal learning, and how that memory, in all its dimensions, is transposed to the page, recreated and reinvented. Deeply philosophic as well as lyrical, the collection interrogates the idea of memory in multiple narratives that juxtapose various modes of expression, argumentation, mood, imagery, tone, and cultural references.

The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit ties the secular rituals of everyday to sacred rites of passage, binding language to love and longing, and to the livelihoods that are Irene Marques’ birthright. These poems bring new and old worlds into dialogue, and poetry into the presence of timeless, generous spirits.”
–Edward Chamberlin, If This is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories?

Praise for Irene Marques’ Wearing Glasses of Water:

“What impresses most in Irene Marques’s first book of poetry, are the expansive situations she creates. Rarely does small abide over large, or unadorned show instead of ornate, for this Portuguese-born Canadian writer revels in abundance and lush coloring. Call this fat poetry, not thin. At its best it reminds me of the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez: everything writ large and interconnected.”
–ARC: Canada’s National Poetry Magazine

“The essence of Marques’s poetry is a peep into the complex dimensions and psychological states of being, of creativeness and inventiveness with the Word, of themes and motifs of libidinal drives or instincts, of internal emotional conflicts where individual impulses and needs must be placed in ethical resolution with social or moral obligations.”
–African Journal of New Poetry


Publication Date: September 2012

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-894770-96-5
Page size: 5.5″ x 8.25″
120 pages

Irene Marques

Irene Marques holds a PhD in Comparative Literature, a Masters in French Literature, a Masters in Comparative Literature and a Bachelor of Social Work. She is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and Lecturer at Toronto Metropolitan University where she teaches literature, literary theory and creative writing. She has taught at various other universities in Toronto including University of Toronto, York University, and OCAD University. Before devoting herself entirely to academia and writing, she worked in various social services fields for over fourteen years. Her published works of fiction include Wearing Glasses of Water (poetry, 2007), Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo (short stories, 2009), The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit (poetry, 2012), The Circular Incantation (poetry, 2013), My House is a Mansion (novel, 2015), Daria (novel, 2021) and Uma Casa no Mundo (novel, 2021), which won Prémio Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira de Castro in Portugal. She has also published the academic manuscript Transnational Discourses on Class, Gender and Cultural Identity (Purdue University Press, 2011) and numerous articles in international journals or scholarly collectives.