Poetry: Burns and Wordsworth - the merry and the grave

Ref: C3530636

In 1803, William Wordsworth went on a poetic pilgrimage to Scotland. At long last, he was going to explore the many places associated with his hero: Robert Burns, a man he had never met but whose passionate, unruly poems he had loved all his life. Wordsworth visited the house in which Burns had lived and he stood by Burns's grave and mourned his absence. But what might these two poets have said to one another if they could have met? Burns once wrote there were 'two grand Classes' of young men, 'the Grave and the Merry.' In this joint recitation, Iain Macdonald and Mark Crees bring these two great poets together for the first time, one decidedly merry and one - a little less so. Burns and Wordsworth may come across as the odd couple of romantic poetry, but they each held two very important things in common: a passion for language and a shared love of humanity.

Course aim

This course explores the poetry of Robert Burns and William Wordsworth. After a joint recitation by Mark Crees and Iain Macdonald, we will explore how Burns became Wordsworth's first poetic role model.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify what Wordsworth owes to the poetry of Robert Burns.
  • Discuss how each style of poetry owes much to the personality of a particular writer.
  • Explore what English literature owes to the poetry of Scotland
  • Identify how recitation brings poetry to life.
  • Discuss how poetry is associated with particular places.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation

Download full course information sheet

Poetry: Burns and Wordsworth - the merry and the grave

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As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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