As the day draws to a close, a family prepares for Christmas - decorating the tree, hanging stockings by the fire, putting out a plate of mince pies... Outside, the world turns to white. 'No breath of wind, No gleam of sun Still the white sw Whirls softly down'.
Walter de la Mare (1873-1956) was born in Charlton, Kent. In 1890, aged sixteen, he began work in the statistics department of the London office of Anglo-American Oil. In 1907 he published his first collection of poems under the pseudonym Walter Ramal, but he soon established a wide popular reputation in his own name as a leading poet of the Georgian period with volumes like The Listeners (1912), Motley (1918) and The Veil (1921). He also wrote poetry and short stories for younger readers; Peacock Pie (1913), a collection of poems for children, is now considered a twentieth-century classic.