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Tuesday, December 16, 2008 10:16 am
That’s One Way to Mark the Burns Sesquibicentennial
Posted by: Keir Graff

The poetry beat ain’t always pretty. From the Guardian (“Two new Burns poems discovered,” by Alison Flood):

His love might have been like a red red rose, but it turns out that Robert Burns may also have been suffering from a rather nasty STD, according to a collection of explicit writing apparently by Scotland’s national bard, due to go on sale in January 2009.

The poems and letters, which cast a different light on the man known for his romantic verse including “Ae fond kiss and then we sever”, reportedly see Burns refer to his children as “bastards”, and complain about not being able to ride his horse due to a sexually transmitted disease.

Their owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, found them in his mother’s home a decade ago, but decided to wait until the 250th anniversary of Burns’s birth next month before putting them up for sale.

Should make for some interesting toasts on Burns Night.

(Related reading: Ray Olson’s review of Ian McIntyre’s Dirt & Deity: A Life of Robert Burns, published on the bicentennial of Burns’ death.)


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