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The Great Poets: Robert Burns

Written by: Robert Burns
Narrated by: Forbes Masson
Length: 1 hr and 18 mins
Categories: Classics, Poetry

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Audible Editor Reviews

Actor Forbes Masson is equal to the task of representing his countryman's poetry. This selection of Burns's poetry provides a fine sample of the Scottish Bard's canon, ranging from short songs to long narratives. Masson's pronunciation of the Scots versions of the poems is replete with the sounds only a native speaker can produce. He brings his skill as a performer to the different characters of Burns's poetry, from pensive lovers to social critics. His voice is rich, and his pronunciation of Scots is pitch-perfect. Masson's performances range from the gentle and sweet "Red, Red Rose" to the blistering "Holy Willie's Prayer." All those who celebrate a Burns supper in January will appreciate how Forbes Masson brings Burns to this century.

Publisher's Summary

The 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns (1759 - 1796), one of the most popular of poets, was celebrated in 2009. A pioneer of the Romantic movement, works such as "A Red, Red Rose", "A Man’s a Man for a’ That", and the ubiquitous "Auld Lang Syne", have made him an international figure. Naxos AudioBooks’ popular Great Poets series marked the anniversary with this audio, bringing together all the key works.

©2009 Naxos Audiobooks (P)2009 Naxos Audiobooks

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  • ESK
  • 2012-12-26

'Bard of passion'

It's a highly enjoyable selection of poems. Forbes Masson gave an impassioned and expressive rendition. I fell in love with his Scottish accent. I could listen to him for hours. Over and over again.

Here's the list of poems on the audio:
1. A Man's a Man for a' That
2. A Red, Red Rose
3. A Winter Night
4. Address to a Haggis
5. Address to the Unco Guid
6. Ae Fond Kiss
7. Apology for Declining an Invitation to Dine
8. Auld Lang Syne
9. Bessy and her Spinnin' Wheel
10. Epistle to a Young Friend
11. Holy Willie's Prayer
12. I'll Meet Thee on the Lea Rig
13. Man Was Made to Mourn
14. My Bonie Mary
15. My Love's She's But a Lassie Yet
16. On a Suicide
17. Robert Bruce's March to Bannockburn
18. Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation
19. Tam O'Shanter
20. The Banks O'Doon
21. The Cotter's Saturday Night
22. From The Jolly Beggars (extract)
23. To a Louse, On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church
24. To a Mouse, On Turning Her up in Her Nest with the Plough
25. To Mary in Heaven

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brian J. Willis
  • 2018-06-11

Vivid Scottish Life

Forbes Masson is a native Scotsman that I have been priviliged to see on stage for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His expressive natural accent brings Burns to life and his passion in certain key passages opened a new level of Burns to my ears. If you are looking for Burns on audio, this is it. Yes, several words, like Shakespeare, need glossing because Burns injected his poetry with his native Scots dialect. But it's well worth it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Keenan
  • 2017-07-21

Amazing reading.

What made the experience of listening to The Great Poets: Robert Burns the most enjoyable?

I only caught every 4th word but it's worth studying so I'll read the poems and listen again. The actor who narrated it had such a good time bringing these works to life.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful