Quantcast
Channel: Poetry | The Guardian
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 3707

My father and his other children

0
0
Raffaella Barker, daughter of the poet George Barker, grew up thinking she had four siblings. Then she found out she was actually number 11 of his considerable brood of 15

My big family crept up on me, I was about 10 before I realised that some of the adults wandering in and out of our life in Norfolk were my brothers and sisters. No one had ever formally introduced us to Rose, Georgina, Sebastian and Christopher; they were kind, glamorous grownups who sometimes appeared for weekends. My four younger siblings Alexander, Roderick, Sam and Lily and I didn't ask about them. Why would we? My parents had many friends who came and went, and as children, our own life with animals, bikes and the freedom of wild countryside to roam through in the 1970s was engrossing. Our lives were full already.

Equally, the right moment never occurred for us to be told about the eldest of my father, the poet George Barker's quiver-full of children, so Anastasia, Anthony and Kate, all older than my mother, remained unknown for several more years. They continue now as my more shadowy siblings, generations apart and living in the US, but the others Jimmy, Edward and Francis, all born a handful of years before me are vivid, beloved brothers.

Continue reading...

Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 3707

Latest Images

Trending Articles