How much do you know about Robert Burns?

How much do you know about Robert Burns?

Scotland is perhaps the only country in the world that regularly celebrates a poet: 25 January 2016 will mark the 257th anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth in 1759. Scots all over the world will get together for a traditional Burns Supper, which features Scotland’s most famous dish: haggis. We will have it flown in specially from MacSween’s in Edinburgh, reckoned to be the best of all.

Burns_2Robert Burns is famed not only for his poetry – much of it in Scots dialect, but still understandable to English-speakers – but also for his political commentary, as he was a great upholder of the Rights of Man. He was also an important collector – and “improver” – of traditional Scottish folk songs. Some works said to be written by him, such as the “Selkirk Grace” or “Auld Lang Syne”, almost certainly existed previously, but became particularly memorable by being associated with him.

While he won’t be remembered for his farming skills, Burns’ reputation as a tombeur de femmes is probably the aspect of his life that most Scots recall most easily. Indeed, perhaps it is the reason we enjoy celebrating him so frequently. Italy may have had Casanova and Spain Don Juan, but we had Robert Burns. And as a serial seducer, he is a lot more simpatico than the other two; because he genuinely loved the women he fell for. Hence the poetry.

Join us for a Traditional Scottish Burns Supper & Ceilidh at All Saints Church, Via Solferino 17, Milan on Friday, 21 January 2016 – 19.30. Suggested donation: €25 (kids <16: €15) Likely menu: Leek & potato soup, Haggis, neeps & tatties (also Veg. haggis or Shepherd’s pie), Scotch trifle, wine, whisky. “Toast to the Haggis” and other Burns’ poems/songs. There will also be Scottish Country Dancing till the wee hours. Book early as space is limited, RSVP by 14/1/2016 at j.murphy@buroservice.com

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