Epistle To Hugh Parker Analysis

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Robert Burns - Wikipedia
 
IN this strange land, this uncouth clime,
A land unknown to prose or rhyme;
Where words ne’er cross’t the Muse’s heckles,
Nor limpit in poetic shackles:
A land that Prose did never view it,        5
Except when drunk he stacher’t thro’ it;
Here, ambush’d by the chimla cheek,
Hid in an atmosphere of reek,
I hear a wheel thrum i’ the neuk,
I hear it—for in vain I leuk.        10
The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel,
Enhuskèd by a fog infernal:
Here, for my wonted rhyming raptures,
I sit and count my sins by chapters;
For life and spunk like ither Christians,        15
I’m dwindled down to mere existence,
Wi’ nae converse but Gallowa’ bodies,
Wi’ nae kenn’d face but Jenny Geddes,
Jenny, my Pegasean pride!
Dowie she saunters down Nithside,        20
And aye a westlin leuk she throws,
While tears hap o’er her auld brown nose!
Was it for this, wi’ cannie care,
Thou bure the Bard through many a shire?
At howes, or hillocks never stumbled,        25
And late or early never grumbled?—
O had I power like inclination,
I’d heeze thee up a constellation,
To canter with the Sagitarre,
Or loup the ecliptic like a bar;        30
Or turn the pole like any arrow;
Or, when auld Phoebus bids good-morrow,
Down the zodiac urge the race,
And cast dirt on his godship’s face;
For I could lay my bread and kail        35
He’d ne’er cast saut upo’ thy tail.—
Wi’ a’ this care and a’ this grief,
And sma’, sma’ prospect of relief,
And nought but peat reek i’ my head,
How can I write what ye can read?—        40
Tarbolton, twenty-fourth o’ June,
Ye’ll find me in a better tune;
But till we meet and weet our whistle,
Tak this excuse for nae epistle.

Analysis : Part 1

IN this strange land, this uncouth clime,
A land unknown to prose or rhyme;
Where words ne’er cross’t the Muse’s heckles,
Nor limpit in poetic shackles:   I love the opening to this poem it’s so poignant and

Captivating. I think the first line expresses confusion with the words in this strange land. A land unkown to prose or rhyme. I think this is symbolic of the isolation burn feels as a poor writer not many can relate to him. Also perhaps its symbolic of society’s ignorance whither its to do with illiteracy at the time or poverty that blights Scotland. “Where words no’er cross’t the muses heckles Nor limpit in poetic shackles.” This shows that burns feels trapped perhaps by his situation and lack of money but also by his gift for the written word.

A land that Prose did never view it,
Except when drunk he stacher’t thro’ it;
Here, ambush’d by the chimla cheek,
Hid in an atmosphere of reek,

“A land that Prose did never view it.” I think this expresses burns frustration that although he is one of the most gifted writers in history he still cant capture all that he wants to. Except when drunk he stachert thro it. This reveals what burns sees the drunks of the streets and perhaps his own battle with drink. Here ambush’d by the chimla cheek. Hid in an atmosphere of reek. This shows what the city was dirty at the time and covered in reek.

I hear a wheel thrum i’ the neuk,
I hear it—for in vain I leuk.
The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel,
Enhuskèd by a fog infernal:
Here, for my wonted rhyming raptures,
I sit and count my sins by chapters;     In this stanza what stands out to me is the line “k
For in vain I leuk. This suggests that Burns perhaps feels guilty about his

 Fame and talent.

“The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel Enhusked by a fog infernal. These lines are symbolic of heat and perhaps the devil or anger, burns maybe feels like the Devil. “Here , for my wonted rhyming raptures I sit and count my sins by chapters.” He feels guilty about his gift perhaps because of his position in society and the fame and talent he has.

For life and spunk like ither Christians,
I’m dwindled down to mere existence,
Wi’ nae converse but Gallowa’ bodies,
Wi’ nae kenn’d face but Jenny Geddes,
Jenny, my Pegasean pride!

In this stanza he is in conflict with himself and his religion , he admits he’s not a very good Christian maybe because his love of drink or sex. “Im dwindled down to mere existence “here he feels that society does not value his talent and he is merely living a pointless life that wont amount to much.

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