Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Gathering 2009 & Robert Burns


This year an international gathering of the clans will take place in Edinburg, Scotland, July 25th - 26th. It was developed as a signature event of Homecoming Scotland 2009, to encourage those with a passion or connection to Scotland to come home. It is expected to be "the greatest international clan gathering the world has ever seen, and the largest Highland Games to have been held in Scotland" as quoted from www.clangathering.org. This website will give you all the history and details of the event.

Also, 2009 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland. Several Highland Games are celebrating Robert Burns' birthday anniversary as the theme for their events.

Who was Robert Burns?
He was born January 25th, 1759 in the village of Alloway, in Ayrshire. His father, William Burns, worked as a gardener on the Doonhom estate. He also farmed his own crops. He saw that Robert received a decent education. Robert's mother went about the house singing folk songs, stirring Robert's creative imagination. These traditional melodies inspired Robert to write some of the finest songs ever composed, and later his poetry career.

They were a poor family, required to relocate to several farms, all of which proved infertile and unprofitable. Robert fell in love with a young lady by the name of Jean Armour and married her, but her father forced her to renounce Robert and tore up the legal document. This painful experience later shines through his work.

Heartbroken, he resolved to emigrate to Jamaica. To raise the funds for his trip, he decided to try and sell some of his poetry. His first print run sold 612 copies and became the topic of conversation in literary circles. He forgot about his trip and visited Edinburgh instead, accepting several social and literary gatherings. He began making a small fortune with his poetry.

He bought a farm, establishing his own home and returned to Ayrshire in 1788. Robert sought to marry Jean Armour as his wife, and this time her father and the rest of her family welcomed him with open arms, due to his success and acclaim. His health rapidly declined. While he lay dying, his wife was unable to be at his funeral as she was giving birth their ninth child, of which only three survived infancy. He was only 37.

You can read more about his life and works at www.robertburns.org.
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