Monday, January 24, 2011

A Man's a Man for a' that:

Robbie Burns' statue in Allan Gardens Toronto
I posted, a few years ago, a tribute to Robert Burns and I dug out a lot of "plaid" knitting projects at that time.  He is one of my favourite poets, because he has preserved through his poetry the language of the common man, or at least the common scotsman. I always feel with knitting that we are preserving a very old tradition, a cottage industry, that earned livelihoods before the industrial revolution. As a result I gravitate towards artists, that preserve through their work, an older life style.

On the 250th anniversay of the birth of Robert Burns in 2009, I designed Red Rose shawl as a commemoration. I also managed to find the poem set to music on youTube. Here's the link sung by Andy Stewart.

According to another site, burns wrote 559 poems. These are his published poems, as I am sure that he wrote many more and just gave them away!

I know that there are knitters who have probably knit and/or designed as many projects. There is something about the creative process that knows no bounds.

Red Rose shawl from Queen Annes Lace
I still have on the back burner, a lace shawl - Cutty Sark - a term I explain in the earlier post linked above. Burns said it first (In Tam O'Shanter); the ship came later and finally the whiskey! The order is important, because without the poet, the creative spirit, the ship and the drink might have been given other names and much would have been lost.

As a testament to Burns' global influence there are 54 statues of the poet worldwide.  I have visited this one in Toronto and the next time I go to Montreal, Halifax, Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Windsor and Fredericton, I will visit the statues there.  There are also 16 statues in the US, 2 in New Zealand, 8 in Australia, 19 in Scotland and 1 in England - go figure!

Celebrate the creative spirit and the common man (woman) in poetry, in knitting, in all that keeps us connected to history, the arts and each other!


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