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Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796) (also known as Rabbie Burns, Scotland's favourite son, the Ploughman Poet, Robden of Solway Firth, the Bard of Ayrshire and in Scotland as simply The Bard) was a Scottish poet and a lyricist. Robert Burns The best-known portrait of Burns, by Alexander Nasmyth, 1787 (detail)
He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. Burns Cottage in Alloway, Scotland
He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, and is celebrated worldwide. Full view of the Naysmith portrait of 1787,Scottish National Portrait Gallery
He also wrote in standard English, and in these his political or civil commentary is often at its most blunt. Title page of the Kilmarnock Edition Engraved version of the Alexander Nasmyth 1787 portrait
He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish Diaspora around the world. Burns statue by David Watson Stevenson in Bernard Street, Leith
Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. In 2009 he was chosen as the 'Greatest Scot' by the Scottish public in a vote run by Scottish television channel STV. The grave of 'Clarinda' in the Canongate Kirkyard
As well as making original compositions, Burns also collected folk songs from across Scotland, often revising or adapting them. Ellisland farm in the time of Robert Burns
His poem (and song) Auld Lang Syne is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year), and Scots Wha Hae served for a long time as an unofficial national anthem of the country. Statue of Burns in Dumfries town centre.
Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well-known across the world today include A Red, Red Rose; A Man's A Man for A' That; To a Louse; To a Mouse; The Battle of Sherramuir; Tam o' Shanter, and Ae Fond Kiss.
Literary style Burns' style is marked by spontaneity, directness and sincerity, and ranges from the tender intensity of some of his lyrics through the rollicking humour and blazing wit of Tam o' Shanter and the blistering satire of Holy Willie's Prayer and The Holy Fair.
Burns was skilled in writing not only in the Scots language but also in the Scottish English dialect of the English language.