Diana Syder

Diana Syder was educated as a scientist. Her skill as a poet allows her to use the vocabulary of science as metaphor, interpretation or description to deal with the world around her with tenderness, humour, even awe.

In 1998 she collected a Public Awareness of Science Award from the Institute of Physics.

Maxwell's Rainbow (Smith/Doorstop, 2002) was named a PBS Recommendation.


'She considerably frees and expands the scale of the poetry. There’s a persistent understated virtuosity in the way she accommodates this breadth without ever straining her conversational tone. “You cannot have literature without curiosity!” said Pound. Syder has abundant curiosity: spacious, intelligent and sociable.' — Roy Fisher

'A dazzling celebration of an inquiring human mind' — New Scientist

'Here is an English poet who is amazed by the world and wants to tell you how amazed she is' — Jim Burns


from Blue Skies: conversations with a theoretician


Remember how the matrix held you once,
all but weightless, your separate egg and sperm –
the particular egg, the particular sperm –
                                           narrowing the distance.

In theory you could model it – a molecule
of protein in the way, p, a lowering viscosity, v,
and M, the sum if minutiae nudging your own
stubborn point of emptiness towards a new universe,
tipping it, everything up till then
poured into the very instant – x –
with heaven and hell set loose in the first
surging milliseconds. Multiply and divide.
Uncontrollable worlds within, where W
Is the total weight of the universe now.

Titles by this author



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