Robert Burns Live
Pictured: Actor Christopher Tait is Scotland’s leading performer of Robert Burns poetry. Photographed at Stirling Castle.
Photo: Robertburnslive, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion

Has broken Nature’s social union,

An’ justifies that ill opinion,

Which makes thee startle,

At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,

An’ fellow-mortal!

To a Mouse

Is Robert Burns’ ode to a mouse whose home his ploughing has disturbed, a pean for his regret for the damage he has caused to the future of the mouse? Or is it a grim portent of the catastrophic harm mankind would wreak upon the planet, the atmosphere, animals, fish and almost every other creature existing on Earth?

Written in 1875, who can tell what he meant? Was it simply his understanding and empathy that his unthinking action had caused great harm to his fellow mortal, as winter’s hardships approached? Or in some part of his mind did you get a glimpse into the future, a feeling of the devastation that could be wrought.

Was it a coded guide to stockbrokers – BUY oil for the first 200 years, but sell hard once the lawsuits start winning? Was it a warning to humankind that the result of prolonged disruption will eventually cause the death of all?

Poetry reveals truths. It reveals hitherto unvoiced concerns, to its creator, and to those who would hear what it has to say. There’s no need to be a great poet to reveal the truth, only that you be in the presence of those who would facilitate its telling.

As Camena I would always recommend to our clients, start a poetry club. Provide a space in which people can publish or perform their poems. And read them, or listen, because you will be extraordinarily glad you did.

You’ll find out things about your organisation you would never otherwise know

You’ll find out things about your organisation you need to know.

Of course, should you buy our Carmenta course, ‘from creation to performance’, you can attend the finale yourself and hear with your own ears.