Written at a time of political repression, were Robert Burns’s late poems covertly radical, or are contemporary academics reading their own leftist values into history?
Murray Armstrong on the battle for the soul of Burns Night
“Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,” wrote Robert Burns in 1793, a line that will be sung or recited countless times between this weekend and next at Burns Night suppers around the world where haggis, neeps, and tatties will be served and the “immortal memory” will be toasted.
But what will they celebrate? A sentimental nationalism is usually attached to “Scots Wha Hae”, and a masonic-style of brotherly love to that other favourite, “A Man’s a Man for a’ That”. Burns suppers have had the reputation of being little more than backward looking all-male piss-ups and in the 1930s the poet Hugh MacDiarmid condemned Burns clubs for their “canting humbug” that “preserved his furniture and repelled his message”.
Editors says I may just be a radical as l was born on this night just 62-years ago this burns night – not a true Scotsman by mortal birth but by heritage of time and memorial .. A Man’s a Man for a’ That” ..Aye
Ace Related News:
Robert Burns Country: the official Robert Burns site
News & Views welcome always published as long as NO bad language or is not related to subject matter.