George Barker

(26 February 1913 – 27 October 1991 / Essex, England)

To My Mother

Poem by George Barker

Most near, most dear, most loved and most far,
Under the window where I often found her
Sitting as huge as Asia, seismic with laughter,
Gin and chicken helpless in her Irish hand,
Irresistible as Rabelais, but most tender for
The lame dogs and hurt birds that surround her -
She is a procession no one can follow after
But be like a little dog following a brass band.

She will not glance up at the bomber, or condescend
To drop her gin and scuttle to a cellar,
But lean on the mahogany table like a mountain
Whom only faith can move, and so I send
O all my faith, and all my love to tell her
That she will move from mourning into morning.

Comments about To My Mother by George Barker

  • Michelson.Susan (2/27/2020 1:06:00 PM)

    445 SW 57th Pl(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Britte NinadBritte Ninad (8/26/2018 2:03:00 AM)

    Nice tribute to Mother(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ratnakar Mandlik (9/4/2016 10:13:00 PM)

    A fantastic tribute paid to the loveliest person on earth, that is mother. Thanks for sharing.10 points.(Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Douglas Scotney (9/4/2016 9:42:00 PM)

    Asia, so big it doesn't want to own up to Europe. Or Europe so petite it denies its rump?(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Chukwuebuka AdebayoChukwuebuka Adebayo (9/4/2016 4:57:00 PM)

    hmmn....You Wrote it better.welldone(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan WilliamsSusan Williams (9/4/2016 3:43:00 PM)

    Wow! What a tribute- -what a Mother! ! ! Yet, though all Mothers could not be as brave in a bombing attack, many Mothers have their brand of bravery that they meet life's difficulties with, be it grace, humor, patience, or quiet wisdom. May all lovely Mothers get such heart felt tributes before they leave us at life's end.(Report)Reply

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Linet SabastianLinet Sabastian (9/4/2016 11:43:00 AM)

    What a dedication! Nicely written.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Anil Kumar PandaAnil Kumar Panda (9/4/2016 9:58:00 AM)

    Heartfelt tribute to a wonderful mother who has been an epitome of love, compassion, tolerance and care. She remained the back bone of the family and stood like a stubborn mountain at the face of adversity.Nice drop.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rajnish MangaRajnish Manga (9/4/2016 7:26:00 AM)

    A true tribute to a compassionate and loving mother who was at the same time unmoved in her convictions like a mountain. Nice poem. Thanks. I quote.
    Whom only faith can move(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Bharati NayakBharati Nayak (9/4/2016 4:20:00 AM)

    A great tribute to a loving, caring and inspiring mother.A mother who is full of right spirit, compassion, love, tenderness, faith and courage.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (9/4/2016 12:53:00 AM)

    Nice dedication! Respect to mothers. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Kezang DawaKezang Dawa (9/17/2012 5:56:00 AM)

    i can feel the pain of some one who lost their mother....(Report)Reply

    Oliver Cooper(2/25/2016 5:32:00 AM)

    he hasnt lost his mother in this poem she has just lost her spirit

    5 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Ian Stuart (2/4/2009 6:44:00 AM)

    Within the constraints of the 14 line sonnet, this is a vivid and affectionate portrait of the poet's mother, setting out her many qualities which include a riotous sense of humour, compassion for those in trouble and a resilience in the face of personal danger(the reference to the 'bomber' in line 9 sets the poem in the early 1940s when British cities were under attack by the squadrons of the Luftwaffe) . I like the link in line 3 of 'seismic laughter' to 'a brass band' in line 8 (both equally noisy) .
    The oblique reference to 1 Corinthians 13.2 in lines 11 and 12 changes the tone to a darker hue. Mrs Barker is in mourning_a family bereavement? However the poem ends on a triumphant note. The poet assures his mother that her religious faith and his love will ensure her sadness will be temporary. I think that the last line contains an affectionate reference to her nationality. The words 'mourning' and 'morning' have a similar sound particularly where they are spoken with an Irish accent.(Report)Reply

    17 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
Read all 14 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: faith, dog, laughter, mother

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003