Even if you haven't heard of him, you've heard some of his stuff; he's one of those guys whose works have dissolved into collective memory. Unofficial New Year's Eve song "Auld Lang Syne" is hisnote . He also wrote "To A Mouse", a line of which was pressed into service for John Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men. Another of his poems, "To A Louse", gave us the proverb
To see ourselves as others see us!
Even Scots who don't need an excuse to get pissed celebrate Burns Night on his birthday, 25 January. The celebrations involve bringing the haggis in and reciting a few stanzas of its poem (it's a really long poem) before cutting it open.
Tropes in effect:
- Badass Boast: "Scots Wha Hae" is one.
- Dead Poets Are Better: popular in Scotland in his own lifetime, his death led to a massive reappraisal of his work further afield. Within a decade, there was a massive tourist industry devoted to the Burns legacy, and it hasn't let up since.
- Hot Witch: Nannie from Tam o' Shanter.
- I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: Love in the Guise of Friendship
For further study into the works and life of Robert Burns, see this free online course "Robert Burns: Poems, Songs and Legacy" from the University of Glasgow: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/robert-burns