Happy New Year!!

Posted 31 Dec 2013

in Featured

HAPPY HOGMANAY! HAPPY NEW YEAR! We wish all PoetryZoo members a very Happy New Year as 2014! May it be full of poetry! So how about starting with your own New Year poem? (more)

Happy New Year!!

Polish American String Band Division on New Year’s Day

It’s here – 2014! At least, for some of our members – and we will all be celebrating soon. You might know that here in Scotland, New Year’s Eve is known as ‘Hogmanay’, and it was once a much bigger celebration than Christmas – Christmas Day only became a public holiday in stern Presbyterian Scotland in 1958!

Hogmanay celebrations continue all night and traditions vary locally – including hurling huge fireballs around one’s head, sprinkling water around the home for blessing and protection before burning purifying juniper branches, and ‘first-footing’ where family and friends visit one another’s houses after midnight bearing symbolic gifts such as a lump of coal, whisky and bread or oatcakes to bring prosperity and luck. In the capital, Edinburgh, there is now a massive fireworks display launched from the wildly romantic and scenic Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the centre of the city, and a huge street party in the historic streets for hundreds of thousands of people to celebrate together. Followed next day by the crazy ‘Loony Dook’, where intrepid bathers plunge into the freezing waters of the Forth.

We’d love to hear how you celebrate in your part of the world. We’ve heard that in Romania, farmers try to talk to their animals to signify good fortune for the coming year; in Venice there is a mass ‘kiss-in’; in a Chilean town, families see in the New Year with their deceased relatives in a candlelit graveyard; that old furniture is thrown out of windows in South Africa; while people dive under the ice in Siberia carrying a tree; and in Spain, revellers try to fill their mouths with 12 grapes for each chime of midnight!

However you celebrate – and we know some prefer to curl up with a good book and ignore the whole shebang! – there is no doubt that the passing of the old year into the new can be a period of reflection and reckoning. Many people feel melancholic as they face the fact that the dreams of the past year have not come to pass, but then resolve to make then a reality in the coming year. Some count their blessings and celebrate everything the last year has brought. Others see a shining future after darkness. It seems that wherever you are on this calendar of life, the conditions are ripe for poetry as PoetryZoo members experience this interesting time of year! We’ve opened a New Year anthology at http://poetryzoo.com/anthologies/327 where you can add your own unique contribution. What does New Year mean to you, if anything? How are you feeling? What is in your mind? For yourself, the planet; your friends, lovers and family?

Of course, the most famous poem associated with New Year is ‘Auld Lang Syne’ by Robert Burns, sung to the tune of a traditional folk song worldwide after the stroke of midnight. What a phenomenon – how could Rabbie possibly have forseen this global hit! We like to think, as a man who definitely liked a dram and a party, Burns would have been mighty pleased. Maybe you could use this as a jumping off point for your own New Year poem – after all, Burns ‘collected’ some of the lyrics from ancient song, taking some words down from an old man. ‘For auld lang syne’ means, loosely, ‘for old time’s sake’. You could use the same metre but make up your contemporary words. Or adapt the words. You can contrast, below, the richness and sound of the original Scots with the paucity of the translation into English. Or just make up something entirely new… We’ll look forward to reading your take on a New Year poem!

With love from Gillian and Richard,

PoetryZoo Keepers

Stay in touch! – feedback@poetryzoo.com

Auld Lang Syne (Scots)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne* ?

CHORUS:

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie’s a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

 

Auld Lang Syne (Translation):

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

CHORUS:

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

CHORUS

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give me a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

CHORUS

by The PoetryZoo Keeper