Monday, 25 January 2010

On this day...










Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns, was born in 1759. 'Scotland's favourite son' started life with a fragmented education, built around rigorous labour on his father's farm, schooled mostly in Christianity by his father. Perhaps unusually, it was his hard physical work that led to the development of his writing craft; early songs and poetry were composed for various female farmhands, whom he encountered during his travels. Indeed his amorous adventures were legendary, Burns said to have fathered fifteen children, six out of wedlock. Burns had been on the verge of emigrating to Jamaicia, yet in a sudden turn, caused by the death of his then love Mary Campbell, Burns instead moved to Edinburugh and then Dumfries; steadily writing all the while. His works were greatly influenced by both Classical and Biblical themes, as well as, naturally, strong Scottish tradition. Said to be a pioneer of the Romantic movement, Burns' best known works include, 'Auld Lang Syne', 'A Red, Red Rose', and 'To a Mouse'. The night of his birth is celebrated throughout Scotland with 'Burn's Night'; a supper swathed in tradition, including haggis and readings of his poetry. Burns died in 1796, at the age of 37.

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