Happy 250th birthday Rab.
Statues have been raised to the bard from Denver to Sydney. American presidents sing Auld Lang Syne, Russian children chant A Man’s a Man for A’ That. His verse has been translated into all the major languages of the world, including Chinese. Google “Robert Burns” and you will find something in the order of 3 million references. The blockbuster movie is only a matter of time. However, amid all this adulation and hero-worship, the creative works of Robert Burns are largely neglected at home by all but a few fanatics who come together once a year on the poet’s birthday.
As far back as 1926, the poet Hugh McDiarmid, an admirer of Burns’ writing, was aware of the harmful effects of the Burns “industry”, as was evident in his own epic poem, “A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle”;-
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