Suzy Snapper
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Robbie Burns Day
Well, I didn't make it out for haggis today, nor to any celebrations of the kind, but did remember the honour of the day.

My Dad's family is Scottish, from the Portobello side of Edinburgh. Although my Grandma passed away when I was just a wee 6, I have fond memories of her teaching me to do the Highland Fling and reminding me never to forget my Scottish side. My parents and my Aunt would take us to the Scottish Cultural Center in Vancouver each January 25 for a spot of haggis and some poetry and music. The haggis I have yet to forget the taste, and quite honestly could live without ever having again, but the rest I truly enjoyed.

This year, my cousins from California had intended to make the trip up here to honour the tradition we left in our childhood...but as with all good intentions, here the day is and it would seem they are not. And since I'm not able to walk too far, I wasn't able to join friends tonight either.

So instead I leave you with a short poem or two of the Scottish master:

remember the whisky for gravey

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace worthy
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich! -steaming

Then, horn for horn, they strech an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve, Are bent like drums; Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive, 'Bethanket!' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned, Like taps o' thrissle. tops/thistle

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o'fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!

An’ ‘tis aft followed by the ‘Selkirk Grace’:

Some hae meat wha’ canna eat,
An’ some hae nane wha’ want it.
But we hae meat,
An’ we can eat,
Sa’ let the Laird be thankit.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer trapped in a corporate buyer's body. Steel shopping by day, and freeflowing prose by night. One day I hope to have the nights become my days, but am intimidated by the sheer amount of people who share my dream. So I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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