Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o' the puddin-race! Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy o' a grace As lang's my airm. - from "Address to a Haggis" by Robert Burns
Scottish poet Robert Burns is celebrated all over the world on January 25th, but if you've ever wondered just why the poet inspires such celebration this lecture at Tadley Library may give you some insight. The lecture will be presented by Bill Copeland, who grew up surrounded by memories of Robert Burns.
Robert Burns was born in 1795 in Ayrshire, Scotland. He is considered by many to be the national poet of Scotland and his birthday, January 25th, is celebrated by more Scots than the actual Scottish National Day. As a boy Burns worked on his parents farm, but farm work was not his calling and he would spend his spare time writing poetry. He was known for both his songs and his poetry, with some of his best known works being Auld Lang Syne, A Red, Red Rose and The Battle of Sherramuir.
The usual Burns' Supper celebration begins with a welcoming and the Selkirk Grace. Then the ceremony begins. Bag pipes lead in the haggis and the master of ceremonies who then enthusiastically cuts the haggis and recites Burns' well known Address to a Haggis. The suppers seem equally about celebrating Burns and celebrating Scotland, and no doubt much of the reverence for Burns lies within the way his songs and poetry use the language of Scotland and celebrate the traditions of Scotland.
Copeland's talk at Tadley Library will cover both Burns' life and the tradition of the Burns' Supper. He grew up in Ayrshire where Robert Burns' name can be found around ever corner, so talking about Burns and sharing his stories was a natural calling.
Tickets for the lecture are £6 each and can be purchased online. Tadley Library is a bit of a drive, almost 40 miles outside of Southampton and past Basingstoke.