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Robert Burns. p. 720. Author Notes. 1759-1796 National poet of Scotland Farmer Poet of the ordinary people (used same dialect and subjects) Mother taught him old Scottish songs and stories, which he turned into poems. Author Notes cont’d.

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author notes
Author Notes
  • 1759-1796
  • National poet of Scotland
  • Farmer
  • Poet of the ordinary people (used same dialect and subjects)
  • Mother taught him old Scottish songs and stories, which he turned into poems
author notes cont d
Author Notes cont’d.
  • Had the ability to write Standard Formal English but chose to write using vernacular
  • Poems, Chiefly in Scottish Dialect (1786)
  • After this book, Burns wrote few poems
  • Started writing songs including “Auld Lang Syne” (New Year’s Song)
burns journal entry 1 14 15
Burns Journal Entry 1/14-15
  • Recall a time when something in your life didn’t go as planned. For your journal entry, tell what the original plan was and where it went wrong. What lesson did you learn from this experience? And, finally, what could you have done differently to make your plans work out?
to a mouse p 722
“To a Mouse” p. 722
  • Burns was a farmer who plowed his own fields
  • Poem was written in Scottish dialect
  • John Steinbeck titled Of Mice and Men based on this poem
audio and english version
Audio and English Version
  • Audio
  • The speaker is plowing his field and accidentally destroys a mouse’s nest. He comments how man has broken the relationship between man and nature. The speaker realizes the mouse has lost his home for the winter. By the end of the poem, the speaker thinks about his own past and how plans have not worked out for him.
  • Best laid schemes of mice and men…
    • What you plan for will not always come about. The mouse’s nest for the winter is unexpectedly destroyed by the farmer.
  • Humans isolating themselves from nature
    • Humans forget that they are a small part of nature, not separate from it. The farmer stops to realize that he has destroyed the mouse’s home for the winter.
elements of poetry
Elements of Poetry
  • Apostrophe: Speaker talks to mouse after he destroys his home. He realizes through his speech that plans often go wrong.
  • Tone: The poem starts with a sad tone as the speaker feels bad about destroying the mouse’s house. After speaking to the mouse and reflecting on his own life, the speaker has regret. The poem grows more somber as the speaker realizes he has had many plans go awry.
romantic elements
Romantic Elements
  • Learning lessons from nature
    • The mouse lives life in the present only. The speaker comments that he regrets a lot of his past, and he doesn’t have much hope for the future.
  • Destructive power of humans
    • Speaker destroys mouse’s nest and realizes that man has destroyed relationship with nature.