Walter de la Mare (1873–1956) was born in Charlton, Kent. From 1890 to 1908, he worked in the statistics department of the London office of Anglo-American Oil. For the rest of his long life, he was a full-time writer. De la Mare’s first collection of poetry, Songs of Childhood, was published under pseudonym in 1902. With the publication of The Listeners (1912) and the classic volume of children’s poetry Peacock Pie (1913), he established himself as one of the leading poets of the time. In addition to publishing more than a thousand poems, culminating with The Traveller (1945) and Winged Chariot (1951), considered by many – among them T. S. Eliot, his editor at Faber – to be his finest poems, de la Mare published novels, including Memoirs of a Midget (1921), short stories, drama, stories for children and literary criticism. He also edited celebrated anthologies, including Come Hither (1923) and Behold This Dreamer (1939). Walter de la Mare received the Order of Merit in 1953.