In April 1919 he entered Edinburgh University with a view to studying medicine but was quickly disenchanted and changed to reading English.
During his time at Edinburgh he sent some of his verse to Hugh MacDiarmid and was pleased to have been described by him as being in the top fifty contemporary Scottish poets.
Within the year, in February 1923, and just a few months before he graduated, his first volume of poetry, Gleanings of an Undergraduate, was published.
At around this time his illness, which had hitherto only affected his legs and feet, began to creep into his back and the subsequent course of treatment put an end to his plan to go to teacher training college. He consoled himself with the realisation that he was now free to become a poet.
In May 1924 the family moved to 27 Wilson Street, a new semi-detached house which had been designed by John Soutar. The "Soutar Hoose" is now maintained by Perth and Kinross Council and appropriately is home to the Council's Writer in Residence.
Detail from the Soutar House.