Born in Austria of Russian parents, Walter Benton lived most of his life in the United States. After working on a farm, in a steel mill, as a window washer, as a salesman, and at various other jobs, he entered Ohio University in 1931, and in due course was graduated. He then spent five years as a social investigator in New York. During the second World War he served in the United States Army, being commissioned a lieutenant of the Signal Corps in the autumn of 1942 and later being promoted to a captaincy. After the war he returned to New York and devoted his time to writing.
This Is My Beloved, the remarkable diary in verse that has become one of the most popular books of poetry, was his first published volume, though his work was already familiar to readers of Poetry, Fantasy, the Yale Review, and the New Republic. Never a Greater Need, a second selection of his poems, was issued in 1948. Walter Benton died in 1976.
"Never before has the delight and wonder experienced in young love, in which is implicit physical discovery, been conveyed with such touching honesty or with rhapsody so involving unconscious pathos. Those who seek to drag any honest writing through the gutters of their own minds will do the same with this. Those who are not afraid of the strange miracle of life will understand this brave verse."
-- William Rose Benet
"I certainly do not find these poems pornographic. They are direct and free, quick with life and warm with remembered passion. The imagery is sensuous and exact, but no more graphic -- or pornographic -- than the images in the Song of Songs. It is remarkable how Benton has varied the erotic theme and the overtones of physical love."
-- Louis Untermeyer
"Walter Benton's verse seems to me full of real poetic feeling. He has sometimes splendid images -- 'like God striking a match across the cathedral ceiling -- and other expressions of unusual beauty; and his emotional quality is direct and intense."