Desert Tracings is a collection of six Arabian Odes. I first read this in college and was struck by the beauty of the poetry. This time reading through, I had a little more time to really absorb the poetry. The imagery is simply stunning. The beloved is described with a grace and sadness that is overpowering while scenes of battle are grotesque and horrifying. Beauty, violence, sadness and boast exist simultaneously and pull the emotions of the reader.

The introductions to the works provide helpful insights into the author and structure of the poem. I found it helpful to look up some of the animals referenced to help my mind better understand the intentions of the author. I often find myself pulling this book off the shelf just to read one of the poems and then slipping it back in its spot. There is just a beauty and strength that I love about these Arabian Odes.

I love sipping on peppermint tea while reading these. Personally, I prefer to make it myself by boiling black tea with a few fresh mint leaves and sugar. The brightness of the mint, the strength of the tea, and the sweetness of the sugar are perfect for this poetry.


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