Thursday, January 25, 2007

Yet Another Special Day

O my love is like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
My love like the melody
That's sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonny lass,
So deep in love am I;
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love!
And fare thee weel, awhile!
And I will come again, my love
Though it were ten thousand mile.

That little bit of culture was because today is a very special day. That's right, it's Burns Day!!!! The day to celebrate the Scottish National Poet, Robert Burns (as a quick aside: note the use of the word National, that is what Burns is officially know as. Further putting pros into this whole Quebec as a Nation thing, which you can find my opinions of here).

Like most days in Scotland, today is typically filled with excessive drinking and haggis. When I was living there last year, I gathered with many of my Canadian friends (and an Australian for good measure) and we read some of his poems and ate some haggis. Yeah they sell vegan haggis at grocery stores over there. I couldn't make this up. It was hilarious trying to read all of the poems which are of course written in Scots, and presented quite the challenge for those of us who are accently-impaired.

I have taken this opportunity to look at a collection of a number of his poems, and I am amazed at how amazing they are. Sure this man was unfaithful and incredibly lecherous, but I'll be damned if he wasn't smooth. The above listed "Oh, My Love is a Red, Red Rose" is one of his most famous works, but there are so many others!!! For the romantics out there may I also recommend you check out "Ae Fond Kiss, and Then We Sever". And of course if you have some time to kill then check out the epic "Tam O'Shanter. Wikipdeia has an awesome collection of several of his poems, which are well worth checking out.

Last year I went on a bit of a Burns tour, going to a lot of the man's hotspots and places of inspiration. Here I have a couple to share. I hope that you enjoy them!!!

These first two are the Alloway Kirk that gets mentioned in Tam O'Shanter. In the poem it is haunted and full of witches. It still looks kind of creepy to me now.

Here we have the Brig O' Doon, also mentioned in the above poem.

Here we have one of many Burns Monuments , this is right where the Brig is.
This is in Dumfries, the town I was living in. This is Burns's mausoleum. Apparently he was buried in a regular grave but they later dug him up and put him in this big mausoleum instead. It really is a cool graveyard with giant head stones that are taller than I am. It was only a short walk down from my old apartment too.

Anyway, I hope that you all have a Happy Burns Day, eat some (hopefully vegan) haggis and have a wee dram. Or at least go read some really great poetry!!!

Until next time,


1 comment:

  1. I'll make sure to give a respecting nod to the statue of Burns here in Halifax that's on my walk home from work.