"A Red, Red Rose" Robert Burns Scotland Presentation by: Jill and Jennifer
Born in Alloway, Scotland-1759 Hard early life Proposed to Jean Armour, twin sons After rejection moved to West Indies Traveled around collecting Scottish folk songs Rose in prominence and popularity, married Armour Died from rheumatic heart disease-1796 Works Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect The Scots Musical Museum A Selection of Scots Songs Select Collection of Original Airs for the Voice Robert Burns
" A Red, Red Rose" O my Luve’s like a red, red rose, That’s newly sprung in June: O my Luve’s like the melodie That’s sweetly play’d in tune. As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, So deep in luve am I; And I will luve still, my Dear, Till a’ the seas gang dry. Till a’ the seas gang dry, my Dear, And the rocks melt wi’ the sun: And I will luve thee still, my Dear, While the sands o’ life shall run. And fare thee weel, my only Luve! And fare thee weel, awhile! And I will come again, my Luve, Tho’ it were ten thousand mile!
Poem Summary • Simple sounding • “red rose”-rose’s ideal state • Rose/melody dies-love can’t last forever • Concept of a timely love • 2 meanings-sands of time • Leaving but will return
Theme Time • Even the greatness of love cannot surpass time • Temporary vs. Eternal • Interconnection between life and death • Love growing, still not eternal • Idea of love greater than love itself Other Themes • Love & Passion • Duty & Responsibility
Images • Also includes similes/metaphors (ex. 1st stanza) • “seas gang dry” • “rocks melt wi’ the sun” • “sands o’ life shall run”
Symbols • “red, red rose”-fleeting beauty • “Melodie”-beauty lives on in abstraction • “till the seas gang dry”, “rocks melt wi’ the sun”-all is possible • “sands o’ life”-beyond time/hourglass • “ten thousand mile”-surpassing time & distance
Figures of Speech • Similes • Love (the person) is like… • “A Red, Red Rose” • “melodie” • Personification • “sands o’ life shall run” • Hyperbole • “till a’ the seas gang dry” • “rocks melt wi’ the sun” • “tho’ it were ten thousand mile”
Sound Patterns Alliteration • Red, red rose Assonance • Thee weel End Rhyme • June/tune…I/dry…awhile/mile Repetition • “till a’ the seas gang dry” • “red, red rose” • “fair thee weel”
Structure • 4, four line stanzas • ABCB/DEFE/GHGH/IJIJ • alternating tetrameter and trimeter lines • (ballad stanzas) • Iambic
Historical Context • Considered a writer ahead of his time • Age of Enlightenment ending, Age of Romanticism beginning • Enlightenment-stressed reason & understanding • Romanticism-stressed emotion not reason • Poem demonstrates Romantics’ faith
Cultural/Geographical Context • Alloway, Scotland • Influenced by poetry of heritage • Ex. Bonnie lass, Luve, gang dry, w’, sands o’ life
Criticism Franklyn Bliss Snyder • “one of the perfectly cut and polished gems in Burns’s song collection” Iain Crichton Smith • “begs too many questions, is too set in one inflated mood for us to write like it…how could we possibly…speak of such permanency” David Daiches • Writes fondly of depiction of tenderness and swagger of young man in love Bruce Meyer • “so delicately, so intricately is it wrought that the poem is, in itself, a frail rose”
Personal Response • 1st impression-happy • After analyzing-depressing • Belittles power of love • Good imagery
Works Cited Poetry for Students. Ed. Dwayne D. Hayes. Farmington Hills: The Gale Group, 2000. 151-162. David Kelly, in an essay for Poetry for Students, Gale Group, 2000. Bruce Meyer, in an essay for Poetry for Students, Gale Group, 2000. Crawford, Thomas, Burns: A Study of the Poems and Songs, CA: Stanford University Press, 1960.