Wednesday, January 25, 2012

'Burns Night'

Robert Burns upon composing a poem to his love, Mary.

It is the 253rd birthday of Robert Burns, Poet Laureate of Canongate Kilwinning Lodge. Hope you had a great time at your Burns Suppers!

He is depicted here, sitting on a tree stump, along Literary Walk on the east side of Central Park. The massive bronze was created by Sir John Steell in 1880, and it was a gift to the city from New Yorkers proud of their Scottish heritage. (As you can tell from the leaves on the trees, this is not a recent photo. I shot this last August.)

Did you know the House of the Temple is home to the second largest collection of Burns literature in the world? I shot this photo three years ago. It shows only about a quarter of the entire collection.

Part of the Robert Burns collection at the House of the Temple
in Washington, DC.

According to Supreme Council:

During his lifetime, Bro. William R. Smith, 32°, former Director of the National Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C., assembled one of the most complete collections of published works by and about Scottish poet Robert Burns. Recognized as one of the finest of all Burns collections, second only to the Burns Collection in Glasgow, Scotland, it was cataloged by Mr. William Thomson of the Public Library of Edinburgh, Scotland. The industrialist Andrew Carnegie, trustee of Mr. Smith’s estate, decided that because Robert Burns had been an ardent Freemason, it would be appropriate to place the Burns collection in the library of the Supreme Council, with the condition that it be housed in a special room available to the public and community of scholars.

One of my favorite grocers in Manhattan is Myers of Keswick on Hudson Street. I discovered this during my university days, thanks to an article in one of our literary publications, and I've been hooked since. Anyway, if you ever need a reliable source of genuine haggis, this is your place.


Anon_e_mouse said...

OK, what's Highland beef? Well-aged on the hoof, like mutton?

Chris said...

Unfortunately for American haggis-lovers, it is illegal to import real Scottish haggis, as it contains lungs and various other offal of sheep. These items are prohibited as they may carry diseases that are not present in the United States.

Thus, the haggis you've spotlighted, if you visit the website of the manufacturer, is made in the USA.

W.Bro. Chris Hansen, WM
Goliath Lodge #5595 UGLE, but speaking for himself alone