Ulogy to Burns
It is an honour bestowed upon me on this dark winter night on which we assemble, to relate a story of Burn's live- It is much more than a Ulogy as his work and influence lives on quarter of a millenium later and will do for many more. Hence we celebrate his life and works at suppers like these ,.- worlød over- and it is my duty to offer up a salutation to his works which both informs and inspires, ponders and enquires but does not judge the man but enlightens and keeps the flam eof his immortal memory burning.
-In Scotland, Rabbie Burns comes into our lives in the course of tender years when our mothers, fathers, grannies or auld aunts take us on their knee and read us the often mysterious lyrical beauty of our great bard.
it is oft in a strang tongue, but once we let our selves be taken along on the great flowing river of his words, we feel a sense of wonderwhich keeps with us all our lives. We are reminded in awe of such feeling when we have the chance to gather to celebrate at Burns Night Suppers with such escellent oratary as our kind and learn-ed speakers have tonight in their speaches- foot stamping voluntary toast-
Burns lived and travelled much of Scotland in the 18th century, and his marvellous use of his colliquiol scots must surely have captivated readers back then. Indeed his first published works became what we would know as a best seller. At a time when south of the border poets were often of the aristocarcy, with time to ponder and postulate and be influenced by the greek tragedies, Burns was living and breathing the every day lives of those scots with far more mundane existances and he was soaking up our tradition of folk stories and songs.
Surely it must be in his raising up of the every day, the common experience and the floklore to a level of beautiful song and poetry that makes his work so adored by so many other cultures. These days the raising up of the usually glimpsed and forgotten, the sharp observation of all that is strange in all that is quite humdrum, is reserved for comedians, and once again we have one in particular who plays court jester to royals and celebriteis taking his everyday observations of scots life and his local dialect to audiences far and wide- I speak of Billy COnnolly of course and I am sure Bruns approves from his place on high.
Born in '''''' 17.... Burns was the son of lowly.... as he grew up to be a man he was of some chram, cheek and charisma by accounts of his compatriots and by the glint in his eye that is all too clear to see in our favourite oprtratis you can see here. He seems to have a flgrant disregard for the order of things and this is seen both in the lines of some of his writing such as....... and in between the lines as I have said by his raising the mnundane to a levle of beatuful description or derision which humbles we.
A man of the poepl he was none the less upwardly mobile and upon publication of the famous 'Kilmarnock Edition' he was welcomed into the bosom of the Edinburgh intelligentia and literati. However, being a practical man he took a job to make ends meet. This was a position of some responsibility and note in history- that of an excise man. Surely he must have been able to separate with some discretion his taxing of the fine liquors and his indulgance of athem?
His early works reflect the young romantic ......whilst the works of his prodigous years show maturty. political and ' a skepticism ' which contributes to his outward contradictory personnna to those who lack empathy of what it is to be sctots.
....returning in his later works to a style of lyricism which show him as a master of peotry and a life ling student of language as he found it in every day speech.