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Burns Imitation, Rob-Roy-Writer

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:26 pm
by poemisdue
I should preface this by saying I’ve attempted to replicate the dialect Burns uses in his original poem, “O whistle, and I’ll come to you, my lad,” but I’m no Scot. The only experience I have with the dialect is from reading the Outlander series, so if you see anything that looks wonky coming from a 1700s-1800s Scotswoman please let me know. I’ve also left notes at the end about things I would change, but it’s all starting to run together so I’ll give it a rest for now.

Rob Roy-Writer
“O whistle, and I’ll come to you, my lad,
O whistle, and I’ll come to you, my lad;”


Seven Augusts ago, he and I were together:
I and the writer who’s since took to heather.
O, my lost luver, whyever to heather?
O, my lost luver, whyever?

We’d tell mother there’s writin’ to do:
my wee paper’s short and my words but few.
She’d a’ hung us if she ken’d we knew
tha’ all is beauty when luv is true,
all is beauty when luv is true.

In the kirkyard, under the moon,
while bairns were restin’ and druids brew’n,
I’d thank the good Lord all night through,
for tutors, and for whisky too,
for tutors, and for whisky too.

O my bonnie lad is he,
who even waukin’ taunts my dreams,
yet I set him o’er the streams;
ye needna worrit for me,
Lad, ye needna worrit for me.

The title is a little shaky, and the first stanza might be too sentimental/vague. In the second line of the second stanza, an alternate ending would be “my name’s nae drew,” but the one I have is more readable, I think. I thought of changing “tutors” to “writers” in the third stanza, or maybe something more overtly related to Rob Roy (riders?). Finally, I’m in between “set” and “let” in the third line of the last stanza. Wow… that’s a lot. Thank you for taking the time to read -- I appreciate any insight in advance.

Re: Burns Imitation, Rob-Roy-Writer

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:46 pm
by Saturn
A good rhyming ballad.

I'm not much of an authority on Burns at all, have not read that much of him but it seems a good imitation of that kind of late 18th century Burnsian vibe so to speak.

It's very difficult to replicate a particular kind of dialect from a particular time and place, I've tried it myself [I once wrote 400 cantos of sub-Shakespearian doggerel version of Romeo and Juliet] and at best you come up with an approximation or a mishmash of different dialects and places which evoke a mood or style you're going for. I can definitely see this being read or sun by some scruffy ballad-monger 'mongst the Glens in a scuffed-tricorn hat and a fiddler by his side.

Really good effort :)

Re: Burns Imitation, Rob-Roy-Writer

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:00 am
by poemisdue
Wow, that sounds like one very long poem — doing even four stanzas was difficult task! Thank you for the response, Saturn

Re: Burns Imitation, Rob-Roy-Writer

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:07 pm
by Saturn
It is, and very cringey lol I think I was about 19 when I wrote it and obsessed with Byron and Shakespeare movies.

Re: Burns Imitation, Rob-Roy-Writer

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 1:53 am
by poemisdue
Share it! Share it! Haha

I am at about the same point and so I will probably cringe looking back at this years later, but you have to start somewhere! This forum is a treasure chest of knowledge

Re: Burns Imitation, Rob-Roy-Writer

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:52 am
by Saturn
Got to start somewhere definitely, but what you’ve written here is no disgrace, nothing to be ashamed about at all. You’ve got to think big, try for the ridiculously ambitious and try all sorts before you find your own poetic voice, that’s a long process but you will find it.
The only advice I’d give is just
1. Write
2. Write more
3. Keep writing
4. Read!
5. Read more
6. Keep reading etc.

The more you write and experiment, ten more you read you will improve.

PS I already did share it, looong time ago, viewtopic.php?f=8&t=704&p=4724&hilit=romeo+juliet#p4724