Today is Burns Day, when Scots (here in Scotland and just about everywhere else in the world) celebrate the life and work of Robert (Rabbie) Burns. The celebrations often take the form of a Burns Supper at which the haggis takes pride of place, along with poetry and, of course, whisky.
Here’s a wee round-up of Burns-related stories.
Burns Night Treat Ends In Airport Alert As Ian Blake’s Haggis Is Mistaken For Plastic Explosives. The title of this article from the Huffington Post is self-explanatory. Don’t miss Ian’s poem at the bottom of the article: “On Being Hauled Out Of The Line By Security At Birmingham Airport ‘Because The Scan Shows You Have Plastic Explosive In Your Luggage, Sir’”.
Kate o Shanter’s Tale: the Tam o’Shanter story told from his wife Kate’s point of view. Tam is described in Wikepedia as “a farmer who often gets drunk with his friends in a public house in the Scottish town of Ayr, and his thoughtless ways, specifically towards his wife, who is waiting at home for him, angry”. Judging by Kate’s reaction in the poem, “angry” isn’t the half of it.
How to strengthen your voice – with Robert Burns! A blog post by Cordelia (aka Dilly) Ditton on how not to be a cow’rin, tim’rous beastie when you have to speak in public. Useful advice for anyone who gives talks or presentations.
Dilly’s post also features the beautiful “Ae Fond Kiss”, with a link to a BBC webpage about the poem. It’s sung in the video above by Rachel Sermanni, a Scottish singer whose grandfather came from Barga, in Tuscany. And here’s another Burns poem sung by an Italian-Scot, Paolo Nutini, whose family was also from Barga: A Man’s a Man for A’ That (what is it about Italian-Scots and Burns, I wonder?).
Other posts you might like:
“Dreich”: Scots, the Scots… or Scottish weather?
The Caledonian Mercury: “Scotland’s first truly online newspaper”. Plus, Useful Scots Words.
When the poet died: on translating remembrance
And, last but certainly not least (watch your back Rabbie Burns!): The translators’ poet laureate (and rapper!)
By Marian Dougan
My own Burns-related story: a few years ago here in Reunion a large multinational whisky company organised a Burns night for 500 people, and an appropriate amount of fresh haggis was flown in by courier. However January is the hottest time of year here and nobody had told DHL that fresh haggis needs to be kept refrigerated. The result was several hundred pounds of a stinking mess that all had to be thrown out…
I’m not much of a poetry reader, but you’ve got me intrigued!
I don’t read a lot of poetry either, and I have to confess there’s a lot of Burns poetry I don’t understand (the Scots language, I mean). But I do like the songs.
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