Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
― Robert Burns
The Ploughman Poet
As the illustrious Bard of Ayrshire, Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) stands as a luminous figure in the heritage of Scottish literature and is widely regarded as the preeminent poet of his nation, with poetic brilliance that illuminates the rich cultural landscape of the late 18th century. Born into the humble embrace of rural life in Alloway in 1759, Burns transcended his modest origins to become a poetic titan whose verses resonate across time and borders, earning him a place among the renowned of the Romantic era.
At the heart of Burns's literary legacy lies his mastery of the Scottish dialect, a linguistic palette that infused his works with a unique, evocative charm. Burns' early life was shaped by agricultural labor, and he developed a deep connection with the rural landscape, which heavily influenced his poetry, with his talent emerging at the age of 15. His debut collection, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect (1786) unveiled a poetic alchemy that seamlessly blended rustic simplicity with profound introspection, and received immediate acclaim for its wit, emotion, and celebration of Scottish vernacular. In pieces like To A Mouse and The Cotter's Saturday Night, Burns captured the essence of agrarian living, weaving a poignant narrative that spoke to the universal themes of struggle, resilience, the beauty of nature, and the inexorable march of time.
The romantic strains of Burns's poetry are perhaps most exemplified in his exploration of love and the human spirit. A Red, Red Rose stands as an enduring testament to his ability to distill the complexities of emotions into verses that resonate with timeless beauty. Through his eloquent expressions of passion and sentiment, Burns endeared himself to generations, becoming recognized as the consummate bard of love.
Yet, his poetic prowess was not confined to matters of the heart. His verses transcended the personal to embrace the socio-political milieu of his era. A fervent advocate for liberty, his pen danced across the page in support of the French and American revolutions. In doing so, he not only articulated the fervor of the age but also cemented his status as a cultural luminary whose words carried the weight of social conscience. His poem A Man's a Man for A' That reflects his egalitarian ideals and criticism of social injustice, advocating for the inherent worth of every individual irrespective of social status.
Burns's contributions extend beyond the written word. His lyrical compositions, including the globally cherished Auld Lang Syne, have become cultural touchstones, echoing through New Year's Eve celebrations worldwide. The enduring popularity of his works is a testament to their universality, touching hearts and souls across borders and generations.
Despite a life cut short at the age of 37 from his life’s hardships, Burns's legacy endures, commemorated in the annual celebration of Burns Suppers on his birthday. These gatherings are marked by the consumption of haggis, with the reverent recitation of his verses and flowing whiskey, underscoring the bard's indomitable spirit and enduring influence. His words continue to echo through the corridors of time, a lyrical monument to the enduring power of language and the poetic resonance of a man who, in the immortal words of his own creation, can truly be hailed as "My love is like a red, red rose."
EndlessPens Recommends : Robert Burns’s Natural Beauties
Robert Burns’s advice to writers revolves around authenticity, simplicity, and universality. Authenticity means drawing inspiration from our genuine emotions and experiences, and expressing our thoughts with sincerity. The significance of simplicity lies in clarity of language, by conveying our ideas in straightforward terms. Literature’s universality can transcend social and cultural boundaries, by depicting core human experiences that resonate with people from various backgrounds, bridging gaps and fostering greater understanding.
To celebrate Robert Burns’s 265th birthday, we present a selection of fountain pens and writing accessories that reflect the authenticity, simplicity, and universality of his poetic and lyrical legacy. —
Kakimori Contemplate Gift Set – The perfect gift for the time of contemplation. The set pairs traditional Japanese indigo dye with pigment ink in Soyo — named after an expression dating back to ancient Japan — as a nod to the continuation of tradition and culture.
MD Paper Pad – With this soft paper, nothing stands between you and your vision. 20% of the material used for MD PAPER Cotton is soft-textured cotton pulp to achieve the best possible comfort when drawing. This pad has an original design with the pages glued along both the vertical and horizontal edges for a sturdy design, while simultaneously enabling freedom of orientation when writing.
Opus 88 Coffee Shop Mini Pocket Pen – Another Endless Exclusive Special Edition for 2022 mini pocket pen from Opus 88 — this time with a matte finish on the cap to resemble cafe menu chalkboards! Bring this tiny but mighty pen with you on your next journaling session at your favorite coffee shop.
Robert Oster Ink in Black & Grey – Inspired by the rich scenery and culture of Australia, Robert Oster inks are available in a stunning selection of vibrant and contemplative colors. Made with a commitment to environmental friendliness, all Robert Oster inks are non-toxic, 100% made in Australia, and bottled in PET plastic bottles from the country's first carbon-neutral plastics plant.
Kakimori Banshu-ori Notebook – A well-made, case-bound notebook created with everyday use in mind. Smyth-sewn binding ensures that each page opens perfectly flat to an A4 spread. The pages feature a hand-ruled, light gray grid that is easy on the eyes and doesn't stand out when scanned.
Pilot Custom 743 Fountain Pen – Experience a refined writing experience with the Pilot Custom 743. Crafted from luxurious black resin body with classic gold accents, this sophisticated pen features a #15 size 14K gold nib for an effortless glide across the page.
Diamine Ink in Black & Grey – Diamine ink has a long and rich history, dating back to 1864. Diamine ink is produced in the UK and is made with a gentle formula safe for all fountain pens. It has quickly become one of the most popular and sought-after brands around. A wide selection of ink colors is available.
Tomoe River Paper – A favorite among those who love to write and are particular about the quality, this is renowned for being incredibly thin and for its velvety smooth texture that performs amazingly well with fountain pens and ink pens.
But to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love forever.
Had we never lou'd sae kindly,
Had we never lou'd sae blindly,
Never met – or never parted –
We had ne'er been broken hearted”
― Robert Burns
Happy Birthday, Robert Burns!
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!