Honestly, every night around here is a little like Burns Night, the annual Scots tradition in honor of national poet-hero Robbie Burns: a little too much whisky, the inevitable descent into maudlin self-pity, and the consumption of barely edible food to soak up the booze (not quite haggis, but still). As with everything we do these days there will be plenty of virtual Burns Night celebrations, which, for the uninitiated, normally entail the recitation of Robert Burns’ poetry, the drinking of whisky, and the Blessing of the Haggis. You can follow along at home with the hashtag #VirtualBurnsNight, or watch replays of several events, the best of which looks to be St. Andrew’s University’s Global Burns Night, which among other things will feature marvelous Scots poet Len Pennie. Here she is reciting her own deeply melancholic (yet hopeful?) poem “The Year.”
If that made you as sad as it did me (and look, I grew up with a Glaswegian dad, so maybe I can understand more of it than the average non-Scot), here is Denis Lawson—aka Wedge in Star Wars, aka Ewan McGregor’s uncle—wearing something like a tartan mini skirt as he recites a ridiculous and defiant poem about the coronavirus.
(In the meantime, Scotland really wants to leave the UK.)