Essay comparing two poems, "Holy Willie's Prayer" and "The Holy Fair," by Robert Burns.

Essay by LeanHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2003

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Literary Analysis: Poems by Robert Burns

In a small Scottish town of Alloway, Ayreshire, a rare boy overwhelmed with talent was reading a humerous chapbook, not knowing that ten years later he would be writing poems of his own that would receive the hearts of many readers (Ferguson, p.242). That was two centuries ago, and more than half of his poems have survived him. Robert Burns referred to today as a legend, wrote poems that would draw the minds of great men and steal attention from even the finest madam. The poet who revived Scotland wrote more than a hundred poems. Two of his best pieces include Holy Willie's Prayer and The Holy Fair, poems that continue to fascinate poetry critics today.

In a form of writing, whether it is fiction, a song, or poetry, there are characters the story revolves around. In Holy Willie's Prayer, the main character, William Fisher (Holy Willie), is an old bachelor elder (Sibbald, p.1).

Throughout the poem he is praying mainly about how he lived his life. The prayer is rather long and emotional, and it draws the reader to a conclusion that the man speaking in the prayer will die soon (Sibbald, p.1). His prayer does not require the reader to have a strong imagination to understand what he (Willie) is going through.

It is rare to find a character that shares the same traits as Willie; The Holy Fair, another famous poem of Robert Burns, is not an exception. It has received compliments no less than Holy Willie's Prayer. The Holy Fair is one of Robert Burns' best masterpieces. The poem tells the story of a man who wakes up to a beautiful Sunday morning and spends his afternoon at the Mauchline Holy Fair with three friends which...