The William Morris Internet Archive: Later additions by Graham Seaman are marked [GS].
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All too human in his personal life, he carried that humanity over onto the page. Nothing was too small or too large to escape his notice, from a mouse in the mud to God in his heavens. A poet for all seasons, Burns speaks to all, soul to soul. His father was William Burnes, a gardener turned tenant farmer from the north-east of Scotland, and his mother was Agnes Brown, an Ayrshire woman of farming stock.
He learned the three Rs, some French and much Scripture. Added to that, he was a voracious reader and also absorbed huge amounts of traditional stories and songs from his mother and a kinswoman of hers, Betty Davidson.
Poetry sprang early into his heart, at the same time as love, and his first composition was a song for the girl he partnered in the harvest. Rarely having much time to sit and ponder poems, it became his habit to compose as he worked.
His father died inworn out by the struggle to keep farm after farm going, leaving Burns as head of the family. He also developed a satiric strain and circulated caustic poems on local contemporaries. Low in Robert Burns Burns began to think of gathering his poems together for publication and approached a printer in nearby Kilmarnock.
Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect was published by subscription in July in an edition of copies. He also entertained the notion of emigrating to Jamaica. He had fallen in love with and made pregnant a local girl, Jean Armour, and her father was not best pleased.
He arranged a new edition of his poems with the Edinburgh publisher William Creech selling his copyright for guineas and had put up in the Canongate churchyard a memorial stone to his literary hero Fergusson.
He became almost obsessed with songwriting from this period on — rescuing traditional songs, rewriting their words, writing new words. He was blessed with an amazingly retentive memory. There was, however, the problem of earning a living. Through a friend he was offered the tenancy of a farm in Dumfriesshire.
The farm was not a success and he had to fall back on the excise work, moving with his family into the town of Dumfries in by now he had married Jean Armour and had several children.
The next few years were marked by increasing ill-health — the heart trouble he had suffered since his hard farming days allied with a rheumatic condition — and despite or because of a course of water treatment immersion in the seahe died in Dumfries on 21 Julyat the age of thirty-seven.
Burns has been described as a chameleon, that is, he was able to change his personality to suit the company or situation. This is best seen in his letters, where he adapts his tone to suit his correspondent, while never deviating from his lively, humorous and intelligent self.
What enabled him to do this was his innate sympathy — or empathy — with people indeed, all living creatures. He may have been admired by some more for his conversation than his poems, but it is the poems that live on and the poems which have made him such a universally loved figure, not only in the West, but in countries such as Russia and Japan.
Not even Shakespeare has as many statues to his memory, or an annual dinner in his name. The poems can be satirical but also full of sentiment; they deal with love and lust Burns being well versed in thesehuman foibles and hypocrisies; they show a deep knowledge of and love of the natural world especially horses, dogs, mice and lice ; they can be funny and moving by turns.
What makes them special is the way he writes about all of the above: He is one of those artists like Bob Dylan in our own time who absorbs everything and rewrites it. He is truly a poet who speaks to all, a poet for all seasons.Contact About Links: Search results Found matching titles: Homeward Songs by the Way A.E.
(George W. Russell)., ; Deborah; a [verse] play Abercrombie (Lascelles). Contact About Links: Search results Found matching titles: Homeward Songs by the Way A.E. (George W. Russell)., ; Deborah; a [verse] play Abercrombie (Lascelles).
Works | Journalism | Chronology | Biography | Photos | Marxists Internet Archive. The William Morris Internet Archive: Chronology This chronology was created by and. The Occult Review (UK Edn) (incorporating 'The London Forum' Sept to April ) London Ralph Shirley. Below is a list of all of Thinking Sideways Podcast's episodes in chronological order.
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