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A Red, Red Rose

A Red, Red Rose


by Robert Burns

A Red, Red Rose Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Should Burns's strange spellings (e.g. "luve") be modernized, changed, or altered? What are the advantages and disadvantages of modifying the spelling?
  2. How do you think the fact that Burns was a farmer affected his poetry? What about this poem in particular?
  3. How do you feel about a poet rhyming the same word (e.g. "luve" and "luve" in the fourth stanza, "dear" and "dear" in the third stanza)? Is that taking the easy way out? Or is there another way to spin it?
  4. Why do you think the poem's first line—"my luve is like a red, red rose"—has remained popular for so long?
  5. What does it really mean to compare love to a rose? To a "melodie"?
  6. Isn't this just a standard love poem? What's so great about it?
  7. If Burns took these lines from old Scottish tunes, how come we call this a Burns poem? Isn't it just a rehash of other folks' stuff?

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