Some Power

O wad some Power the giftie gie us,
to see oursels as ithers see us!
Robbie Burns

With a father of Scottish heritage, I was introduced to this Burns quote early.  But it wasn’t until today that I actually looked at the source poem: “To a Louse: On seeing one on a lady’s bonnet, at church.”


And the reason I looked for the source?  To be sure of getting the quote aright, before trying to adapt it to meet today’s need, from this hilarious share on Facebook.

Flat Earth Society screenshot circulating on Facebook

If this post isn’t a lovely send-up, it seems that the Flat Earth Society finds it hard to see the logical implications of its beliefs.  To connect the dots. As I do, too, I daresay, from time to time.  And that’s where Burns comes in again.

O wad some Power the giftie gie us,
to ken our thoughts: disordered muss!

So, OK.  Not all Scots are poets.



  1. Jim Taylor

    Somewhere, recently (It might have been on Tom Watson’s blog) I saw a challenge to the Flat-Earthers — show us a picture of the underside of the earth.
    Jim T

  2. Tom Watson

    Nope, it wasn’t on my blog, Jim, but I did read that a Canadian branch of the Flat Earth Society had a convention in Vancouver in the summer.

    Speaking of Robbie Burns, I was once asked to read his poem “To a Mouse” at a funeral. This request came just moments prior to the service and they were sure they had nobody who wanted to read it so I was appointed. There’s a word “cranreuch” in the poem. Nobody there knew what it meant. I discovered later it means hoarfrost.

    Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
    O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
    Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
    Wi’ bickerin brattle!
    I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
    Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

    Best laid plans and all…

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Tom – Good for you for taking that one, especially cold. I’m OK with the first line, but would lose all semblance of the right pronunciation after that.

        1. Isabel Gibson

          Jim – LOL. To riff on Alice, the question is not whether you can spell words so many different ways, but rather who – you or the word-processing program, is to be master—that’s all. Keep fighting the good fight. Stare down Barbara’s robots and make them blink.

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