Rasmus, yun's you: celebrating 150 years of J. J. Haldane Burgess

Brydon Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This year sees the 150th anniversary of the birth of J. J. Haldane Burgess the blind
poet, author and linguist. Burgess was born at No.1 Burns Lane, Lerwick, on 28th
May, 1862. He was an exceptional scholar. When the antiquary, Samuel Hibbert,
was touring Shetland in 1822, he noted that, ‘Shetland was from time immemorial
celebrated for its native poets’.1
Burgess, keen to identify with the ancient skalds,
drew on this rich inheritance to become the most outstanding poet of his day. This
paper celebrates Burgess’ prolific achievement, and in particular, his influential
contribution to the development of modern Shetland literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-16
JournalThe New Shetlander
Issue numberSimmer issue
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • J. J. Haldane Burgess
  • Dr. Jacobsen
  • language studies
  • Shetland
  • history


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