Message from the Skies/Plath’s Childhood Home Sale/Burns’ Riverside Haunt – Poetry News Roundup January 3rd

Today, in our poetry news round up, we bring you a proposal from the Message from the Skies project, the sale of Sylvia Plath’s childhood home and, finally, the riverside haunt linked to Robert Burns that has been regenerated for the public to visit.

Hogmanay Inspired Proposal

Yesterday, we brought you an article about the Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh and the “Message from the Skies” project. Today we add just a little something to that story.

The inspiration for the name of the project comes from the poem by Robert Burns’, Sketch New Year’s Day. To Mrs Dunlop”. On New Years Day, the projection on the National Monument on Carlton Hill contained a very special message. Just before dusk, the words “Eloise, will you marry me” were visible on the structure as Sam Page, proposed to his girlfriend. The surprise had been planned in advance with the help of the organisers and Eloise said yes.

Poets Childhood Home Sold

A house in Wellesley, MA with special literary connections has just been sold. The house is the childhood home of the acclaimed poet Sylvia Plath, and it was on the market for $825,000.

The two bed, two-bathroom property was the home of the poet from the age of 10 to 18. She moved there with her mother and younger brother following her father’s death. Her mother continued to live in the property until 1994 when she passed away.

Plath, who died aged 30 in 1963, would sit under the apple tree outside the property, writing. Part of the inspiration for her novel “The Bell Jar” came from the occupants of the area and the tree lined streets of the neighbourhood.

Plath attended the local school, which proudly displays a plaque in her honour.

Riverside Haunt Linked to Robert Burns to Entice Public

The romantic riverside location where the poet Robert Burns is said to have swapped bibles with Highland Mary (Mary Campbell), his love, as part of their commitment to marry is to be opened to the public.

The stunning romantic site, at Failford near Mauchline in South Ayrshire, has received some much-needed investment as part of the area’s heritage, which will make it more accessible to the general public. This is an area that many people have long wanted to visit due to its historic associations with the poet. A grant totalling £1500, has made it possible to make access via the ancient path that cuts through Failford Wood much easier. This is the area where it is believed the couple became engaged in 1786. It is thought that the couple made plans to emigrate to Jamaica together, but sadly Mary died of a fever not long after the engagement.

The grant has made it possible to replace the wooden steps, which had deteriorated with age, and add way markers to make the paths safer for walkers.

The poems “Highland Mary” and “Highland Lassie, O” are believed to have been inspired by Mary Campbell as it “To Mary in Heaven”.  However, a number of experts have down played the influence that she may have had on Burns over the years.

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