Address to Edinburgh

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By Robert Burns

Robert Burns (also known as Rabbie Burns) was born on 25 January 1759. This poster features the first two verses of his descriptive and passionate address to the city of Edinburgh, written in 1786. It is accompanied by a detailed Author Profile.


Robert Burns was invited to the city of Edinburgh to oversee the preparation of a revised edition of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish dialect. In Edinburgh, he was received as an equal by the city’s brilliant men of letters and was a guest at aristocratic gatherings.

Shared learning and teaching

Before reading

  • List different types/styles of poetry. Which do the children enjoy most?
  • Tell the children that the poem they are about to read describes a place. What kind of words would they expect to find? What things might be described?
  • Ask the children to recall places they have visited that really impressed them. What were their feelings? How could they describe the things that they saw?

Sharing the text

  • Scan the text for clues which tell us that this is a poem (layout, verses of equal length, capital letters at the beginning of each line and the poet’s name at the end).
  • Read the poem to the class, encouraging them to follow the text.
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