A Dart of Green and Blue explores the impact of loss on the human spirit; we witness the death of a mother and of a child, the loss of a lover and the erosion of self. A variety of birds inhabit the poems, carrying moments of joy and healing as well as grief. In one sequence, a girl is eclipsed by the shadow of a gull's wing; in another she turns pelican, bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. But there are visionary moments and transformations too. In one sequence, Barrett imagines her dying mother transformed into a kingfisher:
...I waited. Watched. It only took one
hour before a dart of brilliant green and blue
flashed past me (heading somewhere) and was gone.
There is resilience and some redemption in this collection. At the end of a sequence of poems charting the loss of a lover, a blackbird is still singing softly. And, in the collection's closing poem, a finch flies into the human 'labyrinth of tissue and bone' where it sings of a 'horizon sparkling with phosphorescence'.
ISBN: 978-1906570-65-1 (pbk), 978-1906570-66-1 (hbk)
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
Published December 2010