Book summary: Imagination's Music gives a sweeping overview of Christy MacKaye Barnes' poetical work. In the first poem "Up!" she celebrates the sprouting forces of organic growth that she senses in the grasses and trees and feels so strongly within herself. "To Run on Hills" conveys the same exuberant, almost mythical oneness with nature. Her surmise, at the end of the poem, of "beauty, hid within—about" is a leitmotif of her poetic work. Her imaginative participation in nature reaches a kind of crescendo in "Alchemy." Here she breaks free from intellectual constraints and moves into a purely intuitive realm. Inner and outer worlds interpenetrate, seemingly unrelated phenomena are connected, giving the poem a whimsical, yet deeply expressionistic mood. In "Wait and Seek" she strives to capture something intangible that lies half-hidden in the sense perceptible world but is itself of a higher nature. In "Ave" she seems to be addressing a being such as the divine Natura herself.
In her old age, as she has throughout her life, she explores the deep correspondence between the world that lies within and the outer world of nature. Yet much has changed. Gone is the youthful vitality of her early poems. It has been replaced by a mood of peace, permeated by the inner sun of her experience. In "Christ Shines" she writes, "Christ shines in the sunlight . . .." Again, it is the imagination where inner and outer merge in a creative act revealing a deeper dimension of reality. Christy also dwells on the destiny and mission of humanity as in "Love-Bound," "Turn," and "The Carved Statue." The last poems in this book are about imagination and poetry as paths of transformation and redemption that offer "glimpses of the Cosmic Word."