Robert Burns biography :
Scottish poet Robert Burns was born on 25 January
1759 at Alloway, South Ayrshire, Scotland. Although he studied at John
Murdoch’s school, he was educated mainly by William Burnes, his father
who worked as a gardener in Ayr.
Robert Burns’ youth was marked with poverty, and he tried his hand at
several labour intensive jobs, which adversely affected his physical
constitution. To pass away his time, he took to writing poetry. He
wrote a song entitled “O, once I lov’d a bonnie lass” after the
encouragement of his first love, Nelly Kirkpatrick.
In 1781, while working as a flax-dresser in Irvine, Robert Burns began
to write poetry regularly. “Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect”, a
compilation of Robert Burns’ works, including “To a Mouse” and “The
Holy Fair” was published on 31 July 1786. The unexpected success of
his collection catapulted Burns into stardom. He moved to Edinburgh
and was later known as the unschooled “ploughman poet”.
Jean Armour, one of the five ladies who sired him 8 illegitimate
children, managed to tame Robert Burns’ wild ways and ultimately
became Mrs. Burns in 1788. They moved to Mauchline and later on to
Robert Burns continued to compose songs and poems. He gave 114 songs
to “A Select Collection of Scottish Airs” where he received little or
no payment. His last work, “For a’that and a’that” was inspired by the
events of the French Revolution. He wrote it in 1795, about a year
before his untimely demise due to rheumatic fever on 21 July 1796.
Robert Burns lies in the churchyard of St. Michael’s in Dumfries. He
was instrumental in making, “Auld Lang Syne”, an old Scottish folk
song of unknown origin into the New Year anthem we all know today.