This Burns Night, as you clear your throat before launching into a well-practiced rendition of Tam O'Shanter or 'Holy Willie's Prayer', be sure to mind your Ps and Qs, or should that be your Rs and CHs?
When poet ploughman Robert Burns famously wrote that ‘The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men / Gang aft agley’, he might have added dairy farmers to the couplet.
"When chapman billies leave the street, And drouthy neebors, neebors meet; As market-days are wearing late, An folk begin to tak the gate; While we sit bousing at the nappy, An getting fou and unco happy" Tam O'Shanter by Robert Burns
It could be argued that, for Burns, the lassies tended to be a fatal attraction. However, the legacy is in a canon of love poetry that spans the range of emotions from celebration of physical intimacy, through the pain of loss and separation, to the celebration of enduring friendship.
There are not many Scots who can claim as much international recognition as Robert Burns.
In honour of Burns Night, we've created some graphic illustrations that embody the poet's work:
Around the world tributes to Robert Burns are held through the ritual of the Burns' Supper. Originally started a few years after his death by a group of his friends and acquaintances, to honour his memory, the suppers are now celebrated annually on the date of his birth, 25th January. Here are the perfect ingredients needed to hold your very own Burns' Supper.
After Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, Robert Burns has more statues dedicated to him around the world than any other non-religious figure.
Scotland's national poet Robert Burns is celebrated throughout the world.
Scotland's national poet Robert Burns is celebrated throughout the world. The universal and timeless appeal of his words has spoken to people across the globe down through the years. Here are a few well-known quotations by the Bard.