Walter de la Mare

(1873—1956) poet and writer

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poet, published many volumes of verse for both adults and children including, for adults, The Listeners (1912); The Veil (1921); various volumes of Collected Poems; The Burning Glass (1945); and two long visionary poems, ‘The Traveller’ (1946) and ‘The Winged Chariot’ (1951). Among many volumes for children were Peacock Pie (1913), Tom Tiddler's Ground (1932), and Bells and Grass (1941). Several collections were amalgamated in Collected Rhymes and Verses (1970) and Collected Poems (1979). De la Mare's highly individual prose works include the novels Henry Brocken (1904); The Return (1910); the children's story The Three Mulla‐Mulgars (1910, later The Three Royal Monkeys); ‘The Almond Tree’ (in The Riddle, 1923); and the celebrated Memoirs of a Midget (1921). Many volumes of short stories, often arresting or bizarre, for both adults and children, include Broomsticks (1925), The Lord Fish (1933), and The Scarecrow (1945). De la Mare's anthologies include Come Hither (1923), a widely admired collection for children; Behold this Dreamer (1939); and Love (1943). Essays and critical work include studies of R. Brooke (1919) and Lewis Carroll—C. L. Dodgson—(1932), and an edition of C. Rossetti in 1930.

De la Mare was fluent, highly inventive, technically skilful, and unaffected by fashion. In his favourite themes of childhood, commonplace objects and events are invested with mystery, and often with an undercurrent of melancholy.

Subjects: Literature.

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