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Abse was born in Cardiff, Wales, to a Jewish family. He was the younger brother of politician and reformer Leo Abse and the eminent psychoanalyst, Wilfred Abse.
Abse was a passionate supporter of Cardiff City football club. He first went to watch them play in 1934 and many of his writings refer to his experiences watching and lifelong love of the team known as "The Bluebirds".
Although best known as a poet, Abse worked in the medical field, and was a physician in a chest clinic for over thirty years. He received numerous literary awards and fellowships for his writing. In 1989, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Wales.
His first volume of poetry, After Every Green Thing, was published in 1949. 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 was a Fellow of The Royal Society of Literature from 1983. In a foreword to Collected Poems 1948–1976, Abse noted that his poems are increasingly "rooted in actual experience," both domestic and professional, and many display a reconciliation between Jewish and Welsh themes and traditions. Taken from his Wikipedia page - for a full biography click here