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Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 121, 2002 Lectures$
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P. J. Marshall

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263037

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263037.001.0001

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Robert Burns and British Poetry

Robert Burns and British Poetry

Chatterton Lecture on Poetry

Chapter:
(p.191) Robert Burns and British Poetry
Source:
Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 121, 2002 Lectures
Author(s):

Murray G. H. Pittock

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263037.003.0007

This lecture discusses Robert Burns, a poet who dwelt on the early phase of the poem ‘Resolution and Independence’. It examines the critical introspection that has tended to exclude Burns from an increasingly narrow definition of Romanticism since 1945. The lecture presents an argument that Burns' concerns are in many respects not those of the ‘peasant poet’ or a particularist Scottish writer, but in dialogue with the other major British Romantic poets. Finally, it demonstrates that Burns' self-consciousness, poetic flexibility, and playful use of category and genre demand a deeper understanding of the nature of British Romanticism and of the scope of his achievement within it.

Keywords:   Robert Burns, Resolution and Independence, critical introspection, Romanticism, peasant poet, British Romantic poets, poetic flexibility, category and genre, British Romanticism

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