Chapter

Robert Burns and British Poetry

Murray G. H. Pittock

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 121, 2002 Lectures

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780197263037
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734007 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197263037.003.0007

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Robert Burns and British Poetry

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This lecture discusses Robert Burns, a poet who dwelt on the early phase of the poem ‘Resolution and Independence’. It examines the critical introspection that has tended to exclude Burns from an increasingly narrow definition of Romanticism since 1945. The lecture presents an argument that Burns' concerns are in many respects not those of the ‘peasant poet’ or a particularist Scottish writer, but in dialogue with the other major British Romantic poets. Finally, it demonstrates that Burns' self-consciousness, poetic flexibility, and playful use of category and genre demand a deeper understanding of the nature of British Romanticism and of the scope of his achievement within it.

Keywords: Robert Burns; Resolution and Independence; critical introspection; Romanticism; peasant poet; British Romantic poets; poetic flexibility; category and genre; British Romanticism

Chapter.  9721 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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