Burns, Robert. (1759 - 1796).
W o r k
- considered a natural genius, a poet by instinct, a ‘heaven-taught ploughman’, or a ‘Caledonia’s Bard’ x but: well-read, though self-educated
< influenced by the oral tradition of Scottish folk song and the literary tradition of poems in the Scottish dialect
- collected, edited, restored, and imitated traditional songs, also wrote new verses to traditional dance tunes
- keen ear for Scots vocabulary, idiom, and rhythm
- author of over 300 songs on love, drink, work, friendship, patriotism, and bawdry
- hearty, generous, and tender in tone, with a sympathy to all humans
- poetry in Scots: his best (“To a Mouse”)
- poetry in English: conventional with few exceptions (“Afton Water”)
- contribution: revived the folk culture, wrote in the language really spoken by the common people
> anticipated William Wordsworth
The Scots Musical Museum (1787 – 1803):
- a co-editor of James Johnson’s anthology of Scottish songs
Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs (1793 – 1811):
- a co-editor of George Thomson’s collection of songs
Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786):
- his first published volume, an immediate success
Tam o’Shanter (1790):
- a mock-heroic verse narrative
"Should auld acquaintance be forgot, / And never brought to min'? / Should auld acquaintance be forgot, / And days o' auld lang syne?"
From "Auld Lang Syne".
(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorRobert Burns. (1759 - 1796). Scottish.
WorkPoet. Folklorist. Author of poems in the Scottish dialect.
GenresPre-Romanticism. Folk song and poetry.
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Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.
Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.
Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.
Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.
Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.