Tuesday, November 25, 2014

To a mouse!

It's day two of Book Week Scotland, and I'm continuing with my pledge to read one piece of Scottish writing to my family every day.

Yesterday we had The Horror of the Heights by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This evening it had to be something briefer because we had to go out and didn't get home until a little while ago (it is now 9.30pm). I thought it would be great to include a poem by Scotland's most famous and classic poet, Rabbie Burns, and the one I selected was To a mouse. 

The pledge I made was that I would read to my family, however, I thought that the poem would sound a lot better if my husband read it, because he has a proper Scots accent and I don't! I did wonder whether this meant that I was cheating, and debated on reading it out as well, but my husband sensibly pointed out that I was delegating the job to him, and still (cough) "taking overall responsibility for making sure it was read". I must say he made a very good job of it too, far better than I would have!

The poem is ostensibly about a mouse whose nest is destroyed by the plough in autumn, but Burns concludes with some far deeper observations about "the best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men." The ending is rather melancholy, but there are phrases to make one smile too; we loved the charming descriptions of the mouse and its nest, for example:

That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!

If you would like to read the poem, you can find it online here: To a mouse 

If you haven't made a reading pledge, there's still time! Book Week Scotland runs until Sunday 30th. Make your pledge here.

If you'd like to read the pledges other people have made, check out the Pledge Wall. 

I'll be blogging again over the next few days and I hope to include some modern Scottish writing too.

PS The mouse in the picture is from the Burrell Collection in Glasgow. 

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