Robert Burns Books
The Poetry of Burns' (1759-96) is characterised by its disarming honesty and humanity, and by the poet's remarkable lyric gift. Angry or compassionate, sentimental or satirical, romantic or bawdy, Burns's poetry transcends the Scottish dialect in which it is written to speak to all of us. This specially commissioned recording, available for the first time on CD, offers a wide-ranging choice of Burns's songs and lyrical poems; and longer poems such as 'Tam o'Shanter', and 'The Cotter's Saturday Night' are also included in their entirety. All are read by John Cairney, world-famous for his many stage and television performances of the life and work of Scotland's national bard. Lovers of Burns's poetry will find much to enjoy in this selection, which also provides an extensive introduction for those as yet unfamiliar with his work
Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns. This book contains all Robert’s poems, including epitaphs, plus all his song lyrics, but not the sheet music, because he did not compose any music. Of course, there is one song of his, Auld lang syne, which is extremely well known, although not many people are aware that he was its writer. This is not a biography, though some brief historical details are provided. If you want an in-depth biography, you must look elsewhere.
Robert Burns wrote about every topic you could imagine - love, nature, politics, people, anything that was topical in the late eighteenth century. Among the most famous poems are A red red rose (including the line Till a’ the seas gang dry my dear), To a louse (including the line O wad the Power some giftie gie us) and To a mouse (including the line The best laid schemes o’ mice and men).
The poems and songs are presented chronologically in the order of date written. Personally, I would have preferred the book divided into chapter, with each chapter covering a different theme, but it doesn’t really matter. There is an index of first lines as well as an index of titles.
A glossary is provided to allow translation from Scottish to English. People sometimes joke that Britain and America are two countries separated by a common language, but this glossary is a reminder that the same can be said about Scotland and England. I cannot say how easy or difficult you will find the dialect. I was born of Scottish parents so I learned a bit as a child even though I was raised in England. Hopefully, you will most of it reasonably straightforward with a bit of practice. The quality of the poetry makes it well worth the effort.
Within the main book, at the bottom of each page, footnotes are provided to set the context of the poem or song where this is deemed useful. For example, Ballad of the American war has footnotes giving brief details of events between 1775 and 1784, so you will immediately realise that the poem doesn’t just focus on the war itself, but also its aftermath.
Ultimate Guide to the Burns Supper. Clark McGinn, one of the foremost Burns Supper speakers in the world, presents the "Ultimate Guide to the Burns Supper", containing all the information you need to enjoy a Supper, whether as host, speaker or guest. It includes: complete run through of what to expect on the night, with a list of courses and speeches; what to wear; how to prepare and present speeches; common Burns Supper questions (and their answers!); Burns' greatest poems, including a full English verse translation of the "Address to a Haggis"; and answers to your worries about eating haggis and drinking whisky. "Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware, That jaups in luggies; But if ye wish her gratfu' prayer, Gie her a Haggis! 'Address to a Haggis,' " - Robert Burns. With detailed descriptions and instructions by a recognised and widely credited Burns supper speaker, this is a guide to a widespread and popular social event that has been practiced for 200 years. It is also an informal, light hearted introduction to an event that non Scots might otherwise find confusing or intimidating.
Life of Robert Burns. First published in 1930 to a storm of protest due to its frank approach, this biography of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, deliberately seeks to shake the image of Burns as a romantic hero. It exposes the sexual misdemeanours, drinking bouts and waywardness that is often overlooked. The book also brings to life the personality of this man, showing him to be passionate, hard-living, generous, melancholic, morbid and triumphant.