Deeply perceptive, always dipping below the surface of things, Wind Playing with a Man's Hat combines a plaintive honesty about change, mortality and darkness with a precise and lyrical vision that also sees the light. Never sentimental, there is a keenness of wit that penetrates to the heart of things, the poems uncurling in single sentences that reverberate with gentle, but profound moments of epiphany:
as if grain should cascade
forever in a golden trail
and all they had to do was
follow to the rainbow's end.
('Point of View')
Praise for John Barnie's previous work
The Roaring Boys:
Barnie's poetry is hard to dislike, its pace, its riff being easy on the eye and ear, but he doesn't pander to the heart.
Kym Martindale, New Welsh Review
A Year of Flowers:
It is rare that I read a poetry volume at one sitting. But I did so with this one. Indeed, in its delicacy and wit, and in Barnie's deeply appealing pleasure in his book's subject-matter — something that radiates from it throughout — I am left wondering if A Year of Flowers might just be the best piece of work that he has given us so far.
Matthew Jarvis, Poetry Wales