Book Review

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Eley, V. (2021). The blue dragonfly: Healing through poetry. Hidden Brook Press

Section Editors: Serena Wadhwa & Omewha Beaton

Veronica Eley’s The Blue Dragonfly: healing through poetry offers an unusually poignant testament of the poet’s decades-spanning struggle with traumatic after-effects in daily life.

Eley’s poems trace a lifelong struggle with mental illness that first emerges in childhood. By age 7 she was:


showing signs

of emotional



in today’s terms.”

She portrays her child self as:




and prone to tantrums, with

“emotions, whirling

out of control


unable to resolve


with no centre.”

Poems in this section suggest that her condition may be inherited, and that parental bewilderment (rigidity and indulgence) may exacerbate it. But the second poem in the collection…

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