‘Happy Birthday Robert Burns!’ and Poetry Challenge

Yes it’s Burns night!  Another opportunity to celebrate the life of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns b.25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796.  He is known by many names from  The Bard of Ayrshire to the ploughman’s poet.  He is especially famous for writing in the Scots language, though he has also written in a lighter more accessible one.  His writing is forthright, romantic and very beautiful.  He is a national hero in Scotland – and no wonder!  As well as writing poetry he also collected folk songs.  His own poem and song Auld Lang Syne is often sang on New Years Eve (or Hogmanay as they call it in Scotland).

Burns birthplace in Alloway

As a romantic poem and a ‘bit of a laddie’, Burns is also renown for his many love affairs.  he seems to have fallen in love – a lot judging by the poems written about his many amours:-).  His chequered life is full of many ups and downs and reads like a novel.  A fascinating man, full of life and verve, much has been written about him (    ) but in his own words ‘A Mans a Man for A That’ :-







Jean Armour, Burns wife


 His poems live on and shall always be with us. Many poets have written about flowers (A Red Red rose) but  which other poet would take the time out to write a poem about a humble field mouse? (To a Mouse) or even ‘To a Louse’.


Burns’s poems are numerous and a great many of them can be read on this excellent site and on this website which is dedicated to the poet.  A lovely history of this enigmatic man here  Image of Robert Burns from this good poetry site

images from here and here and here

Now for the Poetry Challenge….

The poetry challenge is called ‘What do ye say Rabbie?’  The challenge is to write a Haiku or poem about what you think Rabbie would write.  The subject matter could be anything – after all he wrote about mice and lice – so he was interested in all creatures.  he wrote romantic poetry, so the subject could be that.  He even wrote a toast to the Haggis – a traditional Scottish dish.  For inspiration watch and listen to the toast he made to it.  There are many versions of this, but I have picked the one with the English subtitles – though it’s not too difficult to understand this wonderful rich language. Burns also wrote humourously – so the sky’s the limit!  The poem doesn’t have to be in the Scottish dialect – though that would be wonderful too!  Robert Burns had a lot to say.  He can’t speak for himself – so why not speak for him 🙂  You may use the image if you want with a link to Bookstains of course.

Please note;-

The idea behind the challenges is to publicise Bookstains  is as well as having creative fun, so it is imperative that the poet link to Bookstains to further the challenge.

 In return the poem is copied to the challenges particular page which is open indefinitely and the poets own website mentioned with a link and the poem critiqued on not only Bookstains but also on the poets own blog or website.

 If you wouldn’t put the poem on your own blog, please don’t send it to mine and expect me to promote it.  This is a genuine challenge – so please play fair:-

4 thoughts on “‘Happy Birthday Robert Burns!’ and Poetry Challenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: