Get Your Premium Membership

Robert Burns translation: Comin Thro the Rye

Comin Thro the Rye by Robert Burns modern English translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch Oh, Jenny's all wet, poor body, Jenny's seldom dry; She's draggin' all her petticoats Comin' through the rye. Comin' through the rye, poor body, Comin' through the rye. She's draggin' all her petticoats Comin' through the rye. Should a body meet a body Comin' through the rye, Should a body kiss a body, Need anybody cry? Comin' through the rye, poor body, Comin' through the rye. She's draggin' all her petticoats Comin' through the rye. Should a body meet a body Comin' through the glen, Should a body kiss a body, Need all the world know, then? Comin' through the rye, poor body, Comin' through the rye. She's draggin' all her petticoats Comin' through the rye. The poem "Comin Thro the Rye" by Robert Burns may be best-known today because of Holden Caulfield's misinterpretation of it in "The Catcher in the Rye." In the book, Caulfield relates his fantasy to his sister, Phoebe: he's the "catcher in the rye," rescuing children from falling from a cliff. Phoebe corrects him, pointing out that poem is not about a "catcher" in the rye, but about a girl who has met someone in the rye for a kiss (or more), got her underclothes wet (not for the first time), and is dragging her way back to a polite (i.e., Puritanical) society that despises girls who are "easy." Robert Burns, an honest man, was exhibiting empathy for girls who were castigated for doing what all the boys and men longed to do themselves. Keywords/Tags: Robert Burns, Jenny, rye, petticoats, Scot, Scots dialect, Scottish, translation, modernization, update, interpretation, modern English, song, wet, body, kiss, love, lust, desire, gossip, romantic, romantic love, puritanism, prudery

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




Post Comments

Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.

Please Login to post a comment

A comment has not been posted for this poem. Encourage a poet by being the first to comment.