Historical Context

(Poetry for Students)

Robert Burns is often considered a writer ahead of his time, who often embraced the idea of using common language to reach the common person...

(The entire section is 893 words.)

Literary Style

(Poetry for Students)

“A Red, Red Rose” is written in four four-line stanzas, or quatrains, consisting of alternating tetrameter and trimeter lines. This means...

(The entire section is 227 words.)

Bibliography and Further Reading

(Poetry for Students)

Crawford, Thomas, Burns: A Study of the Poems and Songs, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1960.


(The entire section is 330 words.)


(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Bentman, Raymond. Robert Burns. Boston: Twayne, 1987.

Carruthers, Gerard. Robert Burns. Tavistock, Devon, England: Northcote House, 2006.

Crawford, Thomas. Burns: A Study of the Poems and Songs. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1960.

Daiches, David. Robert Burns and His World. London: Thames & Hudson, 1971.

Ferguson, John DeLancey. Pride and Passion: Robert Burns, 1759-1796. 1939. Reprint. New York: Russell & Russell, 1964.

Grimble, Ian. Robert Burns: An Illustrated Biography. New York: P. Bedrick Books, 1986.

Lindsay, John Maurice. The Burns Encyclopaedia. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1980.

McGuirk, Carol. Robert Burns and the Sentimental Era. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985.

McGuirk, Carol, ed. Critical Essays on Robert Burns. New York: G. K. Hall, 1998.

McIlvanney, Liam. Burns the Radical: Poetry and Politics in Late Eighteenth-Century Scotland. East Linton, Scotland: Tuckwell, 2002.

Stewart, William. Robert Burns and the Common People. New York: Haskell House, 1971.

Compare and Contrast

(Poetry for Students)

1786: Farmers in Massachusetts, burdened by the debt of the Revolutionary War, participated in Shays’ Rebellion in order to protest...

(The entire section is 342 words.)

Topics for Further Study

(Poetry for Students)

What do you think are the circumstances of the speaker of this poem that cause him/her to leave his/her love? Write a short story or dialogue...

(The entire section is 107 words.)

Media Adaptations

(Poetry for Students)

Scotland’s Burns Country: The Life and Landscape of Robert Burns. Video cassette. Lewiston, NY: Lapwing Productions. 1994.


(The entire section is 69 words.)

What Do I Read Next?

(Poetry for Students)

The definitive collection of Scottish ballads, of which Burns is considered the master, is Francis James Childs’s collection the English...

(The entire section is 388 words.)