Who is the BAD BOY of poetry? I’d opt for my special love, Robbie Burns, remember to roll the R ! He began writing rhyme and chasing girls according to his own words in his 15th year. Remarkable! Born 25 January 1759, first of 7 children, one of a kind, handsome roue and charmer of words died 21 July 1796. Wow! I’m not sure if anyone has written more verses than he, like an onion one just keeps peeling away layer after layer, you laugh and you cry and you learn ! No fantasy there, simply magic. My personal favorite ” To A Louse “, yes it’s about head lice BUT it’s about a girl he met in church who refuses to acknowledge him and shakes her long curls as she turns away,
Oh Jenny, do not toss your head,
And set your beauties all abroad !
The light shining through the stained glass window above the pew illuminates the path of her “cooties” and evokes this stunning conclusion:
Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursel’s as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
And foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
And ev’n devotion !
Just another one of my magic prods, 7 words, ” to see ourselves as others see us”. Can’t beat it right? By the way, the best biography of Burns that I know is by William Ernest Henley ( 1897 ). Sound familiar? Between the bible and the bards, if I had another 100 years, it wouldn’t be enough time to absorb and digest the thoughts and words and ideals to fill my need ! Not so bad for a public high school grad with one semester NYU night school and one year at a NY Art School, what do you think?