The sky full of song—a throng
of red-billed queleas passing over,
the dusk thrust through and through
with an inner and outer
golden hue to carry me through
the long dark night.

— “Dusk On A Pristine Flood Plain” (Heaven Underfoot, Codhill Press, 2023)

Book cover of SWAYING ON THE ELEPHANT'S SHOULDERS by Dr. Diana Woodcock features a figure riding an elephant through a landscape filled with fog.

© 2024 Diana Woodcock, Ph.D.

Tamed by the Desert


“Diana Woodcock's poetry takes us out into the desert and instructs us in its flora and fauna. But these rich and distinctive poems do more; they invite us into a well-stocked and meditative mind that is not afraid to ponder infinity. In Woodcock's world, Meister Eckhart, Ethiopian hedgehogs, and broad-faced sandcats are all neighbors under the same enormous sky.”

– Rachel Hadas, author of The Golden Road, Strange Relations and The Ache of Appetite

“I read Tamed by the Desert eagerly, not only for the pleasure of the language, but also for the instruction on how to live. Diana Woodcock's poetry is reminiscent of Amy Clampitt in its scholarly attention to detail and its rigorous insistence on linguistic precision. From the shapeless desert, Woodcock crafts shapely poems which provide a place to drink for all poetry lovers.”

– Helen Farish, author of Nocturnes at Nohant and Intimates

“Carving imaginative images while invoking multi-layers of complexities and simplicities of life, this talented poet venerates life in all its spheres. Paying minute, respectful attention to the obvious and hidden forms in the stretching desert, Diana Woodcock picks up traces of the spirits of large and small living creatures as she places extreme value on the sacred in life, on the resources and inhabitants of this realm, and calls on returning to the Source of it all.”

– Ni‘mah Isma‘il Nawwab, author of Canvas of the Soul: Mystic Poems from the Heartland of Arabia and The Unfurling

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Bibliographic Information

  • format Paperback
  • publication date 2013
  • publisher Finishing Line Press