Links to other poems in the set

Poems which celebrate aspects of ‘ordinary’ life

  • Tam O’Shanter - Tam is an ordinary, flawed human being who finds great enjoyment in ‘normal’ activities like drinking with his friend and is saved by his horse, a very down-to-earth and ordinary part of country life
  • To a Mouse - the mouse’s nest is on a tenant farmer’s land, not a grand estate, and like ordinary people, it has modest needs in order to survive

Poem which challenges opinions of Burns’ day

  • Holy Willie’s Prayer - Willie represents the strict Calvinist ‘Auld Licht’, people who believed in a stern, vengeful God and in the doctrine of the ‘Elect’. Burns rejected these views completely and shows how negative and life-denying they are through the character of the hypocrite Willie
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