Thresholds of memory: Birch and Hawthorn in the poetry of Robert Burns

Pittock, M. (2016) Thresholds of memory: Birch and Hawthorn in the poetry of Robert Burns. European Romantic Review, 27(4), pp. 449-458. (doi: 10.1080/10509585.2016.1190087)

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Abstract

Robert Burns’s status as a poet sufficiently close to rural poverty to be able to represent himself as its product, and sufficiently distant from it to be able to manipulate that product, is increasingly being realized. In this essay, Burns’s use of the country lore associated with the birch and hawthorn trees in Scotland and indeed in Europe more generally, is analyzed in terms of its deceptively simple representation of emotion, and the manner in which it acts as a point of access for Burns’s view of the tragic status of being human, caught between the cyclical natural world and our own narratives of being, which demand a linear time ending in a “forever” which on earth can only become loss.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pittock, Professor Murray
Authors: Pittock, M.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
College/School:College of Arts
Journal Name:European Romantic Review
Publisher:Routledge
ISSN:1050-9585
ISSN (Online):1740-4657
Published Online:28 June 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited
First Published:First published in European Romantic Review 27(4):449-458
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
514141Robert Burns: Inventing Tradition and Securing Memory, 1796-1909Murray PittockArts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)AH/H008586/1ARTS COLLEGE SENIOR MANAGEMENT