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Burns Day

It is today.

Rabbie’s 253rd birthday.

This week a survey was done in Scotland to find out peoples’ favourite Burns work. Whilst the most popular answer was “don’t know”, just behind that with 25% was Tam o Shanter.

It is a masterpiece, which you can read in full along with its English translation HERE

What about this for imagery?

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white–then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow’s lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.–
Nae man can tether time or tide;
The hour approaches Tam maun ride;
That hour, o’ night’s black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
And sic a night he taks the road in
As ne’er poor sinner was abroad in.

(Thanks Toronto Tam)

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5 Responses

  1. I confess that I struggle with the works o’ ‘The Bard’; a lot of his stuff just passes me by. Despite my ignorance, Burns Suppers are good fun!

  2. A toast to poets on Burns’ Night

    How can the merest mortals mend the world from all its ills,
    when words are all the ammunition left, to pay the bastard bills?
    What kind of self-delusion does it take to make a “Bard”,
    when “Barred” is more be-fitting as we play the drinker’s card?
    How many inspirations spiral up and down and through
    the maelstroms of emotions separating us and you?
    Is yours the doleful duty to disect and then display
    the integral integrity of every mundane day?
    But then you go and shock and awe the audience as one
    by painting joyous masterpieces, perched upon a pun.
    Showing us the way to say the things we only felt
    by bottom dealing and revealing, the cards which we were dealt.
    For every type and intent that may drive the poet’s duty…
    I toast you all who have the gall to bring us truth and beauty.

  3. Instead of dreary English books surely Burns ought to be taught, or given passing mention in Scots schools.
    All we had (a poor school) was ‘Monarch of the Glen,’ and that was beyond some of the class.

  4. The toast to poets was a toast to you Rab…don’t you think,at least I saw it that way! Cheers to ya!

  5. Why thank you Denise!

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