By the light of the log fire, the poet leant back. ‘You’ve met my sons, have you?’ he inquired in a husky drawl. ‘They all play rugby for England.’ This was two decades ago, and my mind drew a blank. The poet was George Barker (1913–91), and he was reputed to have fifteen children. Did they constitute a team? It seemed an uncomfortable prospect: The Barkers versus The World.
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