December 31, 2009KR BlogKR

We’ll Tak a Cup o’ Kindness Yet

The Mountain Goats sing, “I am going to make it through this year if it kills me,” and it feels, well, timeless. The same goes for Robert Burns’ bit of 1788 encouragement, “Auld Lange Syne”:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Richard Kenney, in his superb 2008 collection The One-Strand River, looks back to Burns while thinking of the year ahead:

New Year, with Nipperkin

And so the world begins again
In mild disarray
Where the best-laid plans of mice and men,
It’s said, “gang aft agley.”

“Gang aft agley” — that sounds just right —
Strangulated, glottal,
Where violence meets backwardness
Summarily throttled.

So merrily and merrily
The Monday doth embark
Us on another work whose week
Will leave us in the dark,

A drink in hand and Parkinson’s
Or worse, maybe, to stir
The ice into its carillon
Of Larkinsense and myrrh:

More light! More weight! More love! Less hate!
The Mass, the Seder, ah
The tools we use to disconfuse
Ourselves, etc.

And so, to bed. I draw the shade.
Should auld acquaintance croak
They’re none of mine, nor “Auld Lang Syne,”
Whoever he is.*

* Joke


OK, then. Wishing you all much love, disconfusion, and jokes. Happy 2010.