Third Degree Burns

Whoopee-doo kids, it’s time to commemorate the birth of our national poet by consuming steaming mounds of ovine offal.

But what do the poet, the chef and the haggis- purveyor think ofBurns’ Night? Let’s grill them and find out.


While others tuck into haggis ‘n‘ neeps. and toast the Immortal Memory with John Barleycorn, Edwin Morgan, one of the heirs to Burns‘ role as national poet, will be taking things altogether more calmly.

‘lt‘s an extraordinary thing,’ he remarks. on the subject of the Burns myth. ‘There‘s really nothing like it in England. You don‘t get the same kind ofcult about Shakespeare or Milton.‘

Morgan admires Burns‘ work a great deal. ‘1 like the great clarity about it.‘ he says. ‘The clearness of his writing makes it stand out immensely. I‘ve always read a lot of poetry. and I often go back to Burns.‘ But this is not necessarily an indication of Burns’ influence upon him. ‘1 don‘t know,‘ he reflects, ‘if he’s been influential to my work in any direct sense.’

Although Morgan is reluctant to choose a favourite poem, he expresses special admiration for the Epistles and the satires. ‘Some of the love songs.‘ he adds. ‘1 think are extremely good.‘

The social aspects of Burns‘ work

his concern for ordinary people’s poverty and suffering- has been seen by some of his admirers as central to his appeal, not least in the Soviet Union, where his reputation remains untarnished. ‘I think that does get across to people,‘ agrees Morgan. ‘1 think they feel that.‘

As far as the cult of Burns goes, however, Morgan remains ambivalent. ‘I suppose people have always felt that the man as well as the poetry was fascinating, and it‘s very hard sometimes to separate the two. It is a great tribute to him that it should be kept going for such a very long time, but I think it probably has had some bad effect in the past, just because it‘s been taken to such extremes. It’s quite difficult sometimes to get people to read him in a more serious kind ofway as a poet‘

That is certainly the level on which he’ll be approaching Burns this month, since he is participating in a conference at Strathclyde University on Saturday 13. Organised by Dr Andrew Noble of the University‘s Department of English Studies, the conference is called Bums Now, and Professor Morgan will lecture on ‘A Poet’s Response‘.

As for Burns‘ Night itself, however, Morgan has no plans to go out haggis-piercing. ‘As far as 1 know,’ he says mildly, ‘l‘m not doing anything that evening‘. (Andrew Burnet)

Further details of the Burns Now Conference from Alison MacDonald, Dept of English Studies, Strathclyde University, George Street, Glasgow, 552 4400 ext 3516.


I The Babbity Bowster 16—18 Blackfriars Street.

with a recitation ofsongs and poetry by the bard from lrene Conway and Edward Grey. Starting at 8pm. tickets are £4 (£2).

the restaurant intends to present a Burns' Night with all the trimmings. as an alternative to the Scottish-influenced table

552 5()55_ Babbity‘s aims I Granary Health Food d‘hote. Phone to confirm to provide the kind of Restaurant 82 Howard date and price. entertainment Burns Street. 226 3770.

himself would have enjoyed. with a mixed bag ofentcrtainmcnt including animated poetry readings. singing. fiddle and pipe playing. Supper will be dished up without much of the traditional regalia (such as the frequently chauvinistic ‘toast to the lasses‘ ).


Although nothing specific is laid on otherthan haggis. the restaurant is open to requests for traditional Burns‘

I The Tron 63 Trongatc. 552 4267. Settle in for an evening of drama. music and poetry. which will include an appearance


I Caledonlan hotel Princes Street. 225 2433. More of a Scottish night than a traditional Burns‘ Supper. the Gazebo restaurant will be serving traditional Burns' Night fare. probably to the strainsofthe pipes.

I Dubh Prais 12% High

Burns‘ Nights will take from the Edinburgh Street. 557 5732.

place from Mon 22—Wed PUPPCt C0mP3."Y and Translated from Gaelic as 24 Jan, with space for pessbe a reading from The Black Cooking Pot. about 40revellcrsanight. W‘H'am McuvanncY- thisintimate restaurant

I Delmonica's 68 Virginia Street. 552 4803. are having a traditional

Haggis, necps and an alcoholic beverage are served at half-time and

serves Scottish cuisine. A special menu will be

Burns‘ Night on Thurs 25. starting at 8pm. the price has yet to be confirmed. I Paisley Arts Centre New Street. 887 1010. Burns‘ Night is commemorated

tickets cost £7 (£5.50). The event runs from Thurs 25—Sat 27 Jan.

I Killermont House Restaurant 2022 Maryhill

Road. 946 5412. This year j

prepared for Burns‘ Night. which will mix imaginative ideas with traditional Scottish ingredients.

I Keepers 13h Dundas Street. 556 5707. (‘apablc

of serving 90 people. Keepers will be presenting a traditional Burns‘ Supper. Phone for booking and details.

I Howtowdie 25a’27a Stafford Street. 225 6291 . One of the few restaurants which will be going forthe traditional Burns' Supper plus all that goes with it. which will include the pipingof the haggis.

I Hawes Inn Hotel South Queensferry. 331 1990.” you fancy a traditional. tourist-orientated Burns Night. courtesy of Lothian Regional Transport. this all-in package. coach tour included. is the one for

you. Dinner takes place at the llawes Inn. with a piper and a four course meal. and you will be dropped off as nearto your home as possible. The trip leaves from Waverley at 7.30pm and costs £15.50.


I Hate Hart Malaysian restaurant is now Open just behind the Tron theatre at 23 Parnie Street, 552 4740. Malaysian cuisine is more lightly spiced than Indian. more heavily flavoured than Chinese: the ideal introduction is to choose from the ‘crocodile‘ menu three courses. fruit juice, tea or coffee for £10.95 which will be available until mid-February. Both recipes and presentation in this tiny (eight tables) restaurant are authentic and unpretentious. There is no smoking, and although the place is as yet unlicensed. diners are welcome to bring their

I Baby Grand Elmbank Gardens. 248 4942. will be introducing tapas to the bar and the bottom section

ofthe restaurant from the beginning of February. There will be around 20 different dishes on offer. including such typically Spanish fare as chicken empanada. tortilla, chilli manchego and, for rubber fetishists everywhere. octopus with olive oil and paprika.


I Riggs at 4/6Glanvillc Place. Stockbridge, 220 2576. has taken over from Ponte Vccchio, but is also an Italian restaurant.

I Fernando's. another Italian restaurant. has replaced 42nd Street at 32 Leven Street, Tollcross (229 3019). The site has housed a restaurant since the early 70s at least it was The Pacific. a Chinese, before changing into the Indian restaurant Babar‘s, which in turn lasted some while until its strange metamorphosis into the musical steak house. 42nd Street.

70 The List 12 25 January 1990