Sidney Keyes was born in the same year as Philip Larkin, his contemporary at Oxford. At university, Keyes was the editor of Eight Oxford Poets. Influenced by Yeats, Rilke and the French symbolists, Keyes’ subjective, metaphysical work showed great promise at a very young age. It is mature and reflective: “I am the man who groped for words and found / An arrow in my hand” (‘War Poet’). He was killed just before his 21st birthday in the Tunisian desert.