Patric Dickinson was born in Nasirabad in Rajasthan, northern India, in 1914 and was educated at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he won a blue for golf, a game he loved with a passion. He was a poet, playwright, broadcaster, and translator from the Greek and Latin classics. One of his verse plays, Theseus and the Minotaur, was broadcast by the BBC while he was working for them between 1942 and 1948.
After leaving the BBC he became a full-time writer, producing acclaimed translations of Aristophanes’s Lysistrata and Vergil’s Aeneid as well as a range of poems on love and loss. He also wrote an autobiography entitled The Good Minute about his life as a poet and golfer, and a series of short biographies, Personal Portraits, which he edited together with his wife. He also produced a memorable collection of First World War poetry entitled Soldiers’ Verse, which was published in 1945. He received the Cholmondeley Award in 1973 given by the Society of Authors in the UK to recognise the achievement and distinction of individual poets.
His poetry books include The World I See (1960), The Cold Universe (1964), More Than Time (1970), A Wintering Tree (1973), The Bearing Beast (1976), Our Living John (1979) and A Rift in Time (1982). He died in Rye, East Sussex, in 1994, aged 79. His poetry exhibits a sardonic, quirky touch which rescues his most whimsical poems from sentimentality.