Burns Inspired Song/Poet Shines At Inauguration – Poetry News Roundup January 21st

Today on My Poetic Side we take a look at the song inspired by Robert Burns poem and the poet who wowed an audience at the presidential inauguration.

Burns Inspired Song Released

Kate Reid, a Scottish singer/songwriter has released a song inspired by her love of the songs and poetry of Robert Burns, the Scottish Bard.

“The Banks o’Cree” is her first single and will be released today. Reid is excited to be releasing the song as she believes that it has never been released before. She is delighted to be finally able to get the song out there as it has been waiting since 2014 when she recorded it.

This is one of Burn’s lesser-known poems, which has been set to a musical accompaniment of the guitar and piano. The B-side of the album is dedicated to “The Flower of Fochabers” a traditional song from the North East. Both of the songs are about the subject of love, both unrequited and requited.

Reid was raised in the North East of Scotland and loves to recite poetry in both Scots and Doric. When she was at school, she studied the completed works of Burns. She also developed a keen interest in music, joining a local reel group which she toured with as a teenager.

She is also a published poet; her first book “Balnakeil” was published in 2017.

Amanda Gorman Steals the show

On the day when the attention of the world was turned to the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States of America, Joe Biden and the departure of his predecessor, Donald Trump, a 22-year-old poet took to the stage and stole the show.

Reciting the poem that she had written in the short time since she had been asked to be the inaugural poet for the president, Gorman had the audience spellbound as she recited “The Hill We Climb”. She spoke with clarity, poise and force in front of an audience that included a number of former presidents and first ladies. As a child, Gorman suffered from stuttering just like Biden but there was no sign of it her voice today.

The poet was wearing jewellery that gave a nod to a previous inaugural poet, Maya Angelou.

The television host Oprah Winfrey has a tradition of supporting poets before they give their inaugural reading; when Angelou spoke at the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993, she sent her a pair of gloves and a blue Chanel coat. She had asked Gorman if she could send her a coat to wear for the occasion, but the poet said she wanted to wear her lucky yellow coat. Instead, Oprah sent her a pair of gold hoop earrings and a ring with a birdcage on it in honour of Angelou’s poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

Her poem and the poise with which she delivered it drew plenty of praise on Twitter as well, with politicians and artists alike congratulating her for her words.

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