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Featured Poem: John Anderson, my Jo by Robert Burns

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 30th September 2013

We're heading to the Highlands for our Featured Poem selection this week, by the country's own Bard Robert Burns. An adaptation of a traditional song, Burns's version of the verse takes an affectionate and rather poignant look at a relationship that has progressed over the years, contrasting the vibrancy of physical youth with a body that has aged. Clambering up a hill may have been replaced by a gentler 'totter' but the spirit has much to rejoice in with the promise of eternal companionship.

Some Scottish literature to lead us into a new month is very apt as at the end of October we'll be taking our revolutionary Read to Lead course to Glasgow. Across three days we'll consider literature in a new way by reading material together using The Reader Organisation's shared reading model. Perhaps there will be some more Burns in store?

John Anderson, my Jo

John Anderson, my jo, John,
When we were first acquent,
Your locks were like the raven,
Your bonny brow was brent;
But now your brow is bled, John,
Your locks are like the snow;
But blessings on your frosty pow,
John Anderson, my jo!

John Anderson, my jo, John,
We clamb the hill thegither;
And monie a cantie day, John,
We've had wi' ane anither:
Now we maun totter down, John,
But hand in hand we'll go,
And sleep thegither at the foot,
John Anderson, my jo!

Robert Burns

Read to Lead Glasgow runs on 30th/31st October and 1st November - join us to discover literature in a new light with the only course that introduces you to the working practice of shared reading, with no previous experience with literature or education needed.

Find out more information on Read to Lead in Glasgow on our website. The final few places remain - book yours now by contacting Literary Learning Coordinator Sophie Johnson on or call 0151 207 7207.

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