Much of Barker's poetry concerns sin and
forgiveness and is intimately connected with his Roman Catholic
upbringing. However, in his later years he also found inspiration
from the Norfolk landscape - as can be seen in his
moving poem At Thurgarton Church.
He frequently visited
Thurgarton church - which lies a few miles north of
Itteringham - and was no doubt struck by its isolated
location and its thatched roof.
Barker is often associated
with the 'new romantic' school of poetry - along with
poets such as Dylan Thomas. However, since his death, Barker's
popularity has declined. The may be due, in part, to the
success of the Movement poets such as Philip Larkin who
favoured a more down-to-earth diction.
Derek Neville © Jonathan Neville
Itteringham was also the home of another poet - Derek
Neville - who lived at the mill from 1954-75. Inspired
by the natural world, his work was often mystical in
tone and has been likened to that of Walt Whitman or Kahlil Gibran.
I Live On A River
- which was inspired by the Bure flowing
through Itterringham Mill - is a delightful example of
Neville is also buried in the graveyard of St Mary's church
- a few yards away from George Barker. Jonathan Neville,
who is the poet's son, runs the Itteringham village and Norfolk Mills