Haggis Proud: A Poet's Party at Tam O'Shanter

Fans celebrate Robert Burns's 256th birthday with pomp, scotch.

If you're currently busy at work on your career as a much-revered future poet, the kind of scribe who will be toasted and tributed for centuries down the line, what do you hope your legacy will be?

An epic ode? A statue in the town square? Or that farflung fans around the globe might gather each year to raise a glass to your greatness, and in that glass will be a libation that's of local import to where you lived and wrote?

Oh, and that there will be haggis? Do you hope for haggis, too?

The lofty legacy of the eminent Robert Burns offers as many facets as a gemstone, but let us salute the fact that Angelenos, some 256 years after the writer's birth, don kilts and tartans and make for a colorful and historic restaurant to sup upon a traditional dish and sip one of the dozens of single malt scotches displayed within, all in his notable name.

It's an august gathering with oodles of pomp, and it pomps-and-circumstances-up the Tam O'Shanter each January. The 2015 nights? Wednesday, Jan. 21 and Thursday, Jan. 22. The Atwater Village landmark stages two rather huge seatings each night (further evidence that the modern devotion to the Scottish bard's work is deep).

By the by, "rather huge" here means over a thousand people regularly attend. Huzzah.

A few of the doings during each dinner? Those include bag pipers, Scottish sword dancers, the lively reading of poetry (Mr. Burns, of course, introduced Tam O'Shanter in a 1790 work), and the much (much much) anticipated arrival of the oatmeal-savory haggis.

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Or Haggis, with a capital H, which it deserves, seeing as how much it is discussed by diners ahead of its grand appearance. 

One doesn't simply see swords in the sword dancing, by the by; a sword also slices the meat. And will there be goblets on the table? Tables will be well-gobletted, for high-spirited Burns buffs wouldn't have it any other way.

Why not build some pomp around an esteemed, for-the-ages poet? Here's hoping that poets of 2015 will one day have such large parties held in their honor, centuries from now, where old words will stir those present to raise goblets in tribute.

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