poemof the moment
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!
about the poem
Forget the times you’ve had to listen to this exuberant poem weakly delivered at Burns suppers, and read the text instead. Here is Burns being jocular, but also a little subversive – the poor, spindly devils who preferred their fricassées were his social and political betters, while the common people, haggis-fed, are virile and strong, and spoiling for a fight. image: Haggis at the Dunbar Centre by Duncan Brown under a Flickr Creative Commons Licence
poem chosen by…
I love haggis, and don’t wait for Burns Night for an excuse to eat it. The SPL introduced me early on to vegetarian haggis, which Edinburgh firm Macsween first concocted for the Library back in the 1980s. Veggie haggis is now an established favourite round the world, alongside the sonsie original praised by Burns. Which do I choose? Both!
If ever a poet understood the character of his nation, he was Robert Burns. The language he was most fluent in wasn’t so much Scots or English – it was the language of the heart. Image: Iain McIntosh