Robert Burns’ Farewells: An analysis based on new methods
Carlos O Santos
Year of study:
Robert Burns, the national Scottish poet, is an unstoppable fountain of new analyses and knowledge. This talk analyzes the concept of ‘Farewell’ in Burns’ songs and poetry. Based on the selection of sixteen songs and poems which include this word, we use methods such as Visual Thesaurus, comparative content, collocation analysis, and topic modelling. This allows us to demonstrate evidence of the prevalence of this theme throughout Burns’ corpus and understand their meanings. Burns’ Farewells reflect the mix of people, places, and relational feelings, always surrounded by an intense and deep dimension.
The Poet is the main farewells protagonist. As Virgil’s shepherd Meliboeus, he was forced to leave his familiar places and travel into something uncertain, and dark. Like the unhoused mouse of the poem, banished from the Garden of Eden, condemn'd by fate, misery, or broken love to drag a hopeless chain.
This was presented as the final one of the University of Glasgow Centre for Robert Burns Studies’ Burns Online Course.
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