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"To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: sunnytan (
Date: March 28, 2005 11:33PM

I am asking for opinions on Robert Burns' "To A Mouse." Please say what you liked about the poem and why, or what you disliked about the poem and why.


Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: March 29, 2005 11:10AM

Hated it. Certainly no subject for a poem, is it. Farmer overturns the nest of a field mouse - so what? Rhymes suck - beastie/breastie/hasty/chase thee? Hey, those words don't rhyme, Robbie! Can't read the damn thing without a dictionary to hand, right? Why even bother with such nonsense? Aroint thee, rump-fed runyon!

Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: Desi (
Date: March 29, 2005 03:42PM

Absolutely love it. The author shows in a very sweet way the irony of life. No matter how much we plan, fate can overturn our plans.

Try to read it with a scottish accent, and no matter what it says, I'm in love. Sigh. It is so incredibly cute!

Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: sunnytan (
Date: March 29, 2005 05:04PM

Thank you for your comments. It is interesting to hear what people think about the poem!

Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: ellen (213.40.67.---)
Date: April 10, 2005 06:31PM

I adore Burns and to a mouse is one of my favourites.
"The best laid schemes o' mice and men gang aft agley" How true.

I love how he compares the struggles, hard work and pain of mice, for what? to that of man. It's a poem that can always make me cry.

Still I suppose this would be a pretty boring world if we all like the same things. And perhaps I'm just being loyal to a man from my home country.

Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: Anon. (
Date: April 19, 2005 03:18PM

Hugh, please be open-minded. All poetry does not have to rhyme. By the way those are examples of approximate rhyme, a technique used by many famous poets. If you've read any background info about the author, you would know that Robert Burns was being bold in his time period, because literature was being modeled on the classics. He wanted to give the Scottish people something to read, writing it in their dialect. The poem is not simply about a farmer overturning a mouse's nest. It has a deeper meaning: "The best laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft a-gley (go often awry)," which means no matter how much a person may plan something, anything can always go wrong. It's life. This is an excellent poem. I would hate to see it torn down by lack of knowledge of what it means, because I too once thought it was dumb, until our teacher explained it to us. Don't dismiss something you don't understand. Learn about it. Embrace it. Appreciate it.

Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: Desi (
Date: April 19, 2005 03:37PM

anon, go back to school and read up on "sarcasm" and satire, and read the the first two messages again.

Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: tandy (
Date: April 19, 2005 04:32PM

I like poems that have dramatic first lines, and the opening line of "To a Mouse, "Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie," is hard to beat. Actually, though, Burns did surpass even this with the opening line of his poem "To a Louse": "Ha! whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie?" Now, there's a terrific first line!

Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: Anon. (
Date: April 20, 2005 03:08AM

I don't think he was being sarcastic. And satire is something that mocks society in hopes that it will change the situation for the better, as in "A Modest Proposal." I know perfectly well what sarcasm and satire are. I'm presently in school, btw.

Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: April 20, 2005 11:39AM

I think I need to use a 'tongue in cheek' smiley-thingie when I am just too, too clever for my own good.


Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: jerrygarner7 (
Date: April 20, 2005 02:06PM

My favorite quote about dialect:
At times, the dialect used in Southern Gothic require pause to determine what the speaker is actually saying.
Flannery O’Connor, attended a function in New York, where she was cornered by a critic who demanded to know, ‘Why do the characters in your stories, and those writers in your region, concentrate on sexual perversions, idiots and crazy people?’
O’Connor’s response, “Perhaps, because we can still tell the difference”

Re: "To A Mouse" + opinions
Posted by: Desi (
Date: April 20, 2005 05:20PM

hi anon.

Yeah, reading it again, I can imagine you took it seriously. Not for the people who "know" Hugh's style though. Stick around and you'll discover it for yourself.

One more thing (can't resist): satire is what you suggest, but also "a way of criticizing people or ideas in a humorous way", which I meant here.

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