Happy Burns Night!
WELCOME ONE AND ALL TO BYRONIC APRIL!
It's really just gonna be me posting about my beloved and not much else BUT I thought I'd kick off with a Scottish Byron post! Yes, he was technically an anglo-scot poet (and a big fan of Walter Scott! all of the Scottishness!)
Well, I'm sure my facts have been riveting but the best way of demonstrating Byron's Scottishness would be to let the dude himself tell you. He wrote a couple of what are known as his 'Scottish poems' in his early poet days and the most famous is Lachin Y Gair. Just imagine Byron standing on a crag with his tartan billowing in the wind:
~poem text under the cut~
Skint, baw ragged, poackets ful eh ma fingers, cannae afford tae burn toast an it’s November, Christmas is close. Av been away bit noo am back an ivery coarner is a different colour cause am hame an memories ur painted wae mischief. Am ootside Gregs eatin a macaroni pie an a busker picks up eez guitar an plugs in eez amplifier. The sound fae the strings is like frost. Eez young an the dreams thit wur boarn in eez bedroom wake me up. Am watchin people passin an they know thit eez good bit they don’t want tae look. They turn thur heeds an tilt thur ears an jog on. If a hud a spare pound a wid throw it bit a don’t so a jist listen. I’d like tae tell um thit this is it, this is where the hammer hits the stane an sparks ur made, standin oan a coarner in yr hame toon, an audience eh one radge eatin a macaroni pie, bit singin, wee man, yur singin.
A sense of the supernatural and the weird, bound up with a mysterious feeling of limitlessness and indefinitude that haunted him in his thoughts about this world and our earthly life. The forms of another mysterious world, very near to this earth of ours, were seemingly present to his imagination. From The Feeling for Nature in Scottish Poetry, Vol. 2, 1887.
Teach me, he said—
we were lying in bed—
how to care.
I nibbled the purse of his ear.
What do you mean?
Tell me more.
He sat up and reached for his beer
I can rip out the roar
from the throat of a tiger,
or gargle with fire
or sleep one whole night in the Minotaur's lair,
or flay the bellowing fur
from a bear,
all for a dare.
There's nothing I fear.
Put your hand here—
he guided my fingers over the scar
over his heart,
a four-medal wound from the war—
but I cannot be gentle, or loving, or tender.
I have to be strong.
What is the cure?
He fucked me again
until he was sore,
then we both took a shower.
Then he lay with his head on my lap
for a darkening hour;
his voice, for a change, a soft burr
I could just about hear.
And, yes, I was sure
that he wanted to change,
I was there.
So when I felt him soften and sleep,
when he started, as usual, to snore,
I let him slip and slide and sprawl, handsome and huge,
on the floor.
And before I fetched and sharpened my scissors—
snipping first at the black and biblical air—
I fastened the chain to the door.
That's the how and the why and the where.
Then with deliberate, passionate hands
I cut every lock of his hair.