Sunday, January 25, 2015

Poems, Chiefly But Not Entirely in the Scottish Dialect

Today is the 256th birthday of Scotland's most famous poet, Robert Burns. He was born January 25, 1759, in the village of Alloway, Ayrshire, and died in Dumfries at the age of 37.


In his short life, Robbie (or "Rabbie," as he was sometimes called) wrote what looks like a gazillion poems, songs, and ballads on a variety of topics. (We have his complete works in a leatherbound book that we could use as a doorstop!) He even wrote a poem to a mouse, and another one to a louse that he saw on a lady's bonnet in church. One of his most famous collections is Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, published in 1786.

In honor of Burns' birthday, M wore his kilt on our walk this afternoon. This is the first chance he's had to wear it with his new Glengarry cap, which now sports a spiffy feather:

"Do you think I could write one?" I asked him as we eased on down the road.

"One what?"

"A poem chiefly in the Scottish dialect."

"Sure. Knock yourself out," he said.


By the time we got back to our house, here's what I had:

Bonnie Prince Charlie
Riding on a Harley,
Tearing up the heather,
Vroom! Vroom! Vroom!
All around the Islands,
Up and down the Highlands,
In fair or stormy weather,
Boom! Boom! Boom!

"Not sure you captured the dialect," M said. "But it does have a nice Caledonian theme."

I haven't thought of a title for it yet, but I'm dedicating it to Robert Burns.




cleemckenzie said...

I loved the Harley. And it called up one spectacular image of the open road in the Highlands!

Mr. Burns did write up a storm in his 37 years here on planet earth. And such good word, too.

Thanks for inviting me to share a bit of Scottishness with you two.

Two Lassies said...

Buddy and M,

Thanks for making our Burns-Day SO MUCH BETTER! We had a choice of four Burns-Night dinner bashes but couldn’t attend any for several reasons.

The photos are great - can’t say which of you looks the spiffier! Rabbie would absolutely appreciate your poem and I can just imagine our Royal Rebel Prince “tearing up the heather!” Now, Dè ghabhas tu?