Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Big Burns Supper

Interesting that this collection of events commemorating, supposedly, our National Poet has no input from any contemporary writers in Dumfries and Galloway. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised at this. Burns Suppers have always been the preserve of people who imagine a love of literature when their real interest is in perpetuating myth, or a particular view of history, or a sentimentalised idea of what it means to be Scottish once a year, or in this case, trying to make some money and attract some visitors. Writers just write though, don't they? Other people do the gimmicks.

Hmmm bit jaundiced that, now I read it in the cold light of a snowy Friday morning. Nothing wrong with different ways of celebrating Burns who was a great and courageous writer, after all. And nothing wrong with a bit of entrepreunerial ambition. Nevertheless poor Rabbie always provides a carcass to feed on, doesn't he?
And if the annual Burns hooh-hah proves anything he proves that we have a long and great tradition of poetry in Scotland. And that poets are still ignored, as they were then.

"once a year within a phantom nation
they shrink your head to fit a social occasion"

Willie Neill