“Humour is probably the fourth dimension, for in it the soul transcends itself and surveys the universe from a region which is outside space and time.
Burns is the poet of the fourth dimension.”
“The mood of the mystic is the opposite of the mood of the humorist. The great mystics are all humourless.. The mystic looks at the universe through the prism of his own sould, the humouris looks at his own soul through the prism of the universe. The mystic regards the cosmos as a marginal note on his own life, the humourist regards his own life as a marginal note on the cosmos.”
The quotes are from James Douglas and were published in 1906 in the introduction of a book with Burns’ Poems. And boy, you can tell that someone liked their Burns.
A lot of passion went into these lines, I want to hoist at least some of this beautifuly crafted wordsmithery into the digital age.
“He dashed himself to pieces against the insanity of an illogical world. Burns, with his volcanic vision, pierced through the filmy makeshifts and makebelieves of provisional morality. He postulated the impossible and tried to live it. He saw the world bathed in that clear air of philosophic humour which is the perspective of the imagination.”
“Society idolised him because society is too stupid to fear its deadliest enemy, the poet. Society does not know that thought is more dangerous than action, imagination more dangerous than thought and humour more dangerous than all three.”
“It may be said that Burns put nothing in the place of the morality he destroys. But that is not the poet’s business, which is simply to see and sing. He saw and sang with dauntless purity of vision and of voice. He did not barter new lies for old.”
“He looked neither up nor down on god or man, louse or lord, daisy or devil. He looked all round all the shows of existence and laughed at the sweet witchery and ripe wonder of concious being. His humour placess the phenomena of consciousness in relation to each other by gently adjusting the lenses of the imagination.”
“You cannot arrest a lyric or imprison a song.“