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Tam o’Shanter is nation’s favourite
The You Gov survey asked adults across the country to select their favourite Robert Burns poem for Burns Night from a list of options. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) chose the verse written by Burns in 1790, which tells the story of a man who witnessed a disturbing vision on his way home from a public house.
A Man's a Man for A' That came second, with 17 per cent of respondents rating the poem - famous for its liberal ideas of society in the 19th century - as their number one choice. Following closely in third place is the Address to a Haggis, which 16 per cent of Scots have rated as their favourite for the annual celebration of our national Bard.
Speaking ahead of this year's Burns Night celebrations, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: "Robert Burns is Scotland's greatest cultural icon, recognised and celebrated all around the world. The results from this poll show that our national Bard still holds a special place in the nation's heart.
"The favourite, Tam o'Shanter, is considered by many as one of the best examples of narrative poem, while no Burns Supper would be complete without its vital ingredient - the Address to a Haggis.
"My personal favourite is Mary Morrison, a simple yet very romantic poem about longing. It was the poem I recited during my final year at Alloway Primary School to win the Burns Recital Prize. That was a great honour and to this day I still find the poem very moving."
Scotland's Makar Liz Lochhead joined the debate citing To a Mouse as her favourite Burns poem. Noting its strong and vivid imagery that continues to resonate, she said: "Impossible choice. So here's my first favourite, best and dearest. At eight, I already loved that wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie being told, with perfect plain sincerity, 'I'm truly sorry Man's Dominion/ has broken Nature's social union'. A tiny trembling creature standing in for our whole laid-waste and abused planet."
Among the events to celebrate our national Bard, traditional Burns Suppers are taking place across the country this week including at The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire and the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, while the 2012 Big Burns Supper festival will see over 2,000 performers light up venues across Dumfries.
Ms Hyslop continued: "Burns remains the people's poet and his legacy is of immense value to Scotland and the country's image abroad. His vast collection of work has inspired generations across the globe and the Year of Creative Scotland 2012 is the perfect time to celebrate all that is great about our culture and creativity both past and present.
"Wherever you are you can learn about Burns through the most modern of ways. Our Burns Facebook page has attracted over 12,000 friends from across the globe, with over 5,500 people sharing and discussing their plans to celebrate. Or you can download our Burns app which includes Burns poems, facts about his life and a helpful guide to hosting your very own Burns Supper.
"Burns Night is the culmination of Scotland's Winter Festivals and celebratory events will be taking place across the country. Scotland's friends the world over will also be joining in the fun with Burns Night celebrations from Cardiff to Canada and Melbourne to Mexico City, there really will be something for everyone to enjoy."
More information about Burns, including ideas for hosting your own Burns Supper and fun interactive games and quizzes to encourage people around the world to get involved with virtual celebrations can be found at our