‘Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg…’ (Robbie Burns, Tam o’ Shanter)

by wiggs66

Nannie and Meg

Stumbled across a rakish statue of Robbie Burns in Stanley Park, Vancouver, recommending his work to all those who value liberty and freedom. There was a marble tableau on the plinth, of the scene in his ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ when Tam urges his horse Meg to gain the keystone of the bridge, Meg’s tail in the hand of a beautiful ill-clad witch. A snapshot of that moment in folklore when you must put running water between you and your demons. Going to be crossing a lot of water these next few weeks, both salt and sweet, ocean and creek, and thinking about the role of river as topographical and mythic boundary. Here’s hoping I hang onto my pigtails…

‘there, at them thou thy tail may toss, / a running stream they dare na cross!’