Robert Burns’ Value/Tagore Quoted By Actor – Poetry News Roundup January 14th

In our poetry news round up today we look at the value of Robert Burns and the Actor who quotes Tagore.

How Much is Robert Burns Worth?

A recent report has put an estimate on the worth of the poet Robert Burns to the Scottish economy. They believe that the Burns’ “brand” is worth approximately £140m on an annual basis and that the cultural and economic importance of the poet could be worth as much as £203m annually to Scotland.

The report which was carried out as part of a study by the University of Glasgow suggests that the international fascination with the poet helps support businesses in Scotland much more than was first believed. It also indicated that the opening of facilities named after the bard such as the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum have also added to the value of the brand, and even identified further areas in which the brand could be assisted to grow.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the much significant economic benefit to Scotland is the tourists who are drawn to the area because of Burns. Tourism accounts for around £155m and almost 66% of that comes from Arran and Ayrshire the poet’s birthplace and also where he lived.

Works by Robert Burns have been translated into most of the major language all over the world including Chinese and Russian as well as the more common German and French. Auld Lang Syne, possibly his most famous piece of work is not just used in the UK as the New Years song but has been covered by artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley.

The main aim of the research was to show the people of Scotland just how much importance is still placed on the poet both in Scotland and all over the world and that there is a significant revenue still to be made from all things Burns related.

In 2009, £23m was spent on the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and already the museum is rated in terms of visitors as the second most popular UK writers museum, just behind the Shakespeare museum.

We will also shortly be entering one of the busiest times in the Burns calendar when people all over the world will be holding Burns suppers to celebrate the life of the poet. Even this has a value to the Scottish economy, estimated to be around £7m.

Arrested Actor Recites Poetry

Fire Drill Fridays, the weekly protests against climate action organised by Jane Fonda have seen their fair share of arrests. The latest ones took place at the end of last week.

Martin Sheen, who was taking part in the protest, had been quoting poetry by the Indian polymath and poet Rabindranath Tagore when both he and fellow actor Joaquim Phoenix were arrested. They were amongst the 147 who were charged with obstructing, crowding or incommoding.

This isn’t the first time that the actor has quoted Tagore. In 2016 he recited one of his poems in a video in which he urged his fellow Americans to vote for the betterment of their country.

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