Tam o’ Shanter – Haibun Thinking Weekly Challenge

AnElephantCant explain it
The older he gets the more he learns
So one more time
He knocks out a wee rhyme
In the knowledge he can never write poetry quite like Robert Burns

AnElephant enjoys this challenge hosted by his friend Al.
He asks both his loyal readers to take a moment to check out this page to see some superb interpretations of the Japanese Haibun, a literary form which explores the relationship between the human experience and nature.
For this week’s challenge AnElephant chooses the quote:
“Gathering her brows like gathering storm, Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.”

Copyright Alexandria Burns Club

Copyright Alexandria Burns Club

Tam o’ Shanter
The quote comes from Robert Burns’ poem Tam o’ Shanter and describes, quite succinctly, the mood of the eponymous protagonist’s wife as she once again waits for his late return from market day in 18th Century Ayr, the local market town.
Tam, of course, is well-deserving of her ire, spending yet another evening in the company of his friend Souter Johnny.
But the poem comes to life as Tam finally mounts Meg, his gray mare, and heads for home.
His route takes him past Alloway Auld Kirk, an old church only minutes from Burns’ birthplace.
Here he sees warlocks and witches dancing, with Old Nick himself in attendance!
Tam foolishly reveals himself to the dancers and is chased by one particularly exuberant witch who grabs hold of Meg’s tail just as she reaches the Auld Brig – old bridge – over the River Doon.
Witches, of course, cannot cross running water, so Tam escapes at the cost of poor Meg’s tail!

reality and fantasy
perhaps are separated
by only a stream of thought

The above image comes courtesy of the Alexandria Burns Club in Scotland, from whom permission has been requested.

This entry was posted in Daft Rhymes, haibun, Scottish Stuff, funny and serious and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Tam o’ Shanter – Haibun Thinking Weekly Challenge

  1. nightlake says:

    imaginative and well done. sad for Meg though


  2. paulscribbles says:

    Nicely done.A stream of thought.I like that idea very much.


  3. julespaige says:

    Perhaps then I am very lucky indeed to have a creek on the edge of my property?
    But then what if ‘they’ are already on ‘my’ side???

    Cheers my friend ~Jules
    I likes playing at ‘Thinking’ – I do!


  4. Miss Lou says:

    #Fantastic, I never knew the word to describe such writings before this moment.
    However I have read many, thank you for sharing. #LearnSomethingNewEveryDay


  5. Suzanne says:

    I love the haiku here. Very profound


  6. Bastet says:

    Poor Meg! Funny fantasy…loved the haibun and a great haiku ending!


  7. colonialist says:

    I can still rattle off, from memory, (which may have a hitch, here and there):

    Weel mounted on his grey mare, Meg –
    A bitter nivver lifted leg –
    Tam skelpit on through dub and mire,
    Despising wind, and rain , and fire …

    I don’t dare go and check it.


  8. Anja says:

    I enjoyed the haiku.


  9. helenmidgley says:

    This was such a clever take on the prompt, I loved your breakdown of the poem, great job 🙂


  10. Brenda says:

    It was Burns day recently, wasn’t it? What a great poet and a funny man. I wonder what he would be writing if he lived today. I love your story, and the final haiku is a wonderful culmination. So fantasy witches cannot come into reality because they cannot pass the stream of thought? And visa versa, no doubt too. Chuckling, here. Great haibun, Elephant. Seems to me you have more than two loyal readers, my friend. 😉


  11. Somehow I think that this tale of his will not appease his wife much, although it is much better than the more mundane excuses he could concoct, I’m sure.


  12. Al says:

    I love that tail of where the poem came from. poor Meg’s tale though,

    And a happy birthday to Rabbie. A great post from AnElephant


  13. Don’t forget to link up!


  14. niasunset says:

    Fascinated me… I wished I could write like yours… Thank you, love, nia


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