Poet Robert Burns, not Robbie as I was told often during my visit to Scotland last year, was born on this day in 1759 at the village of Alloway in South Ayreshire.

Burns, the national poet of Scotland, had an inauspicious start as the son of a tenant farmer. I think that’s why he’s so revered today. He wasn’t classicaly educated but worked as a labourer and his writing reflects the rhythms and dialect of the working man.

At the Writers Museum in Edinburgh, one of the most interesting exhibits were documentation of Burns’ time as a tax collector. His writing were already gaining a following by that time but he didn’t have enough financial security to just write so he had to find employment as an excise worker.

The museum is located at Lady Stair’s House, a home built in 1622 by an Edinburgh merchant burgess. The stairs inside are crooked and unevenly spaced, an early form of security to repel burglars. Across the building’s common square is the apartment where Burns lived for a short time. He died when he was just 37 years old.


Leave a reply


Your email address will not be published.