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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Daniel Abse, better known as Dannie Abse (born 22 September 1923), is a Welsh poet.[1]


Early years

Abse was born in Cardiff, Wales to a Jewish family.[1] He is the younger brother of politician and reformer Leo Abse and the eminent psychoanalyst, Wilfred Abse. Abse first studied medicine at the University of Wales, and then at Westminster Hospital and King's College London.

Career as Poet

Although best known as a poet, Abse is also prominent in the medical field, and was a specialist at a chest clinic for over thirty years. He has received numerous literary awards and fellowships for his writing. In 1989, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Wales. He is also a talented musician, having learned the flute at the age of six. His first poetic volume, After Every Green Thing, was published in 1949.[1] His autobiographic work, Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve, was published in 1954. He won the Welsh Arts Council Award in both 1971 and 1987, and the Cholmondeley Award in 1985. He has been a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature since 1983.

Abse has lived for several decades in the northwest area of London, mainly near Hampstead where he has considerable ties. For several years he wrote a column for the "Ham & High" (Hampstead and Highgate Express) local newspaper. The articles were subsequently published in book form.

In 2005 his wife Joan Abse was killed in a car accident, while Abse suffered a broken rib. His poetry collection, Running Late, was published in 2006, and The Presence, a memoir of the year after his wife died, was published in 2007; it won the 2008 Wales Book of the Year award[2]. The book was later dramatised for BBC Radio 4.

In 2009 Abse brought out a volume of collected poetry. In the same year, he received the Wilfred Owen Poetry Award.


  • After Every Green Thing Hutchinson, 1948
  • Walking Under Water Hutchinson, 1952
  • Ash on a Young Man's Sleeve Hutchinson, 1954
  • Fire in Heaven Hutchinson, 1956
  • Some Corner of an English Field Hutchinson, 1956
  • Mavericks: An Anthology (editor with Howard Sergeant) Editions Poetry and Poverty, 1957
  • Tenants of the House: Poems 1951-1956 Hutchinson, 1957
  • Poems, Golders Green Hutchinson, 1962
  • Poems! Dannie Abse: A Selection Vista, 1963
  • Modern European Verse (editor) Vista, 1964
  • Medicine on Trial Aldus, 1967
  • Three Questor Plays Scorpion, 1967
  • A Small Desperation Hutchinson, 1968
  • Demo Sceptre, 1969
  • O. Jones, O. Jones Hutchinson, 1970
  • Selected Poems Hutchinson, 1970
  • Modern Poets in Focus 1 (editor) Corgi, 1971
  • Modern Poets in Focus 3 (editor) Corgi, 1971
  • Thirteen Poets (editor) Poetry Book Society, 1972
  • Funland and Other Poems Hutchinson, 1973
  • Modern Poets in Focus 5 (editor) Corgi, 1973
  • The Dogs of Pavlov Vallantine, M., 1973
  • A Poet in the Family Hutchinson, 1974
  • Penguin Modern Poets 26 (Dannie Abse, D. J. Enright and Michael Longley) Penguin, 1975
  • Collected Poems 1948-1976 Hutchinson, 1977
  • More Words BBC, 1977
  • My Medical School Robson, 1978
  • Pythagoras Hutchinson, 1979
  • Way Out in the Centre Hutchinson, 1981
  • A Strong Dose of Myself Hutchinson, 1983
  • One-legged on ice: poems University of Georgia Press, 1983
  • Doctors and Patients (editor) Oxford University Press, 1984
  • Ask the Bloody Horse Hutchinson, 1986
  • Journals From the Ant Heap Hutchinson, 1986
  • Voices in the Gallery: Poems and Pictures (editor with Joan Abse) Tate Gallery, 1986
  • The Music Lover's Literary Companion (editor with Joan Abse) Robson, 1988
  • The Hutchinson Book of Post-War British Poetry (editor) Hutchinson, 1989
  • White Coat, Purple Coat: Collected Poems 1948-1988 Hutchinson, 1989
  • People (contributor) National Language Unit of Wales, 1990
  • Remembrance of Crimes Past: Poems 1986-1989 Hutchinson, 1990
  • The View from Row G: Three Plays Seren, 1990
  • There Was A Young Man From Cardiff Hutchinson, 1991
  • Intermittent Journals Seren, 1994
  • On the Evening Road Hutchinson, 1994
  • Selected Poems Penguin, 1994
  • The Gregory Anthology 1991-1993 (editor with A. Stevenson) Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994
  • Twentieth-Century Anglo-Welsh Poetry (editor) Seren, 1997
  • Welsh Retrospective Seren, 1997
  • Arcadia, One Mile Hutchinson, 1998
  • Be seated, thou: poems 1989-1998 Sheep Meadow Press, 1999
  • Encounters Hearing Eye, 2001
  • Goodbye, Twentieth Century: An Autobiography Pimlico, 2001
  • There was a young man from Cardiff Seren, 2001
  • New and Collected Poems Hutchinson, 2002
  • The Strange Case of Dr Simmonds & Dr Glas Robson, 2002
  • The Two Roads Taken: A Prose Miscellany Enitharmon Press, 2003
  • Yellow Bird Sheep Meadow Press, 2004
  • Running Late Hutchinson, 2006
  • 100 Great Poems of Love and Lust: Homage to Eros (compiler and editor) Robson, 2007
  • The Presence Hutchinson, 2007
  • New Selected Poems 1949-2009: Anniversary Collection Hutchinson, 2009 (shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry)

See also

External links




Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Dannie Abse (Daniel Abse, born 22 September 1923) is a Welsh poet and retired doctor; medicine, his Jewish culture and Welsh nationality are frequent themes in his work.


  • Praying is another way of singing.
    You plant in the tree the soul of lemons.
    You plant in the gardens the spirit of roses.
    • Poem Song for Dov Shamir
  • I know the colour rose, and it is lovely,
    But not when it ripens in a tumour.
    • Poem The Pathology of Colours
  • Leave my soul alone, leave my soul alone
    • Poem In the theatre
  • And silence matched the silence under snow.
    • Poem In the theatre

External links

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