This week, as in all years, the school celebrated the work of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

It was a traditional affair with a reading of the Address to a Haggis, the first verse of which goes like this:

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 o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.

We also had Jonny Fowle from Wandering Whisky, to give a short talk on Scotland’s national tipple and give students a whisky tasting.

Traditionally, the supper’s main dish is haggis, neeps and tatties (turnip and mashed potatoes).

whisky tasting at the Chippendale furniture school

Burns was an instant success from his first collection of poetry, Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, which was published in 1786.

But Burns’ influence extends well beyond poetry.  Auld Lang Syne is still sung on New Year’s Night, and Bob Dylan cites My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose as his greatest lyrical inspiration.

JD Salinger’s book, Catcher in the Rye, references the song Comin’ thro’ the Rye and John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men is named after a line in the poem To a Mouse.

Robert Burns was, and is, the people’s poet, although writing never made him rich.  He died tragically young at only 37.

His influence around the world continues to be profound, and we’re always proud to raise a glass to our national Bard.