Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 25: A Field Mouse Made Famous (Vol. 6, pp. 119-120, 388-394)

Robert Burns, the Scottish poet, was born this day in 1759. The title refers to one of today's poems, "To a Mouse," and the story of how a Scottish farmer plowing his field accidently plows up the nest of a frightened mouse.

The Scot dialect in which Burns writes his poems is highly annoying, but the sentiment of the poem stands up — that misfortune can pop up at any time without warning and that "the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley."

That's the line everyone remembers from the poem, but this sentiment is the real takeaway — "Backward cast my eye/on prospects drear!/an' forward, tho' I canna see,/I guess an' fear." In other words, we're all flying blind, wondering when the plowman will turn our lives over.

No comments: