Today, city honchos opened the newly renovated Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Library — more on that later — and among the speakers at the ribbon-cutting was D.C.Council member Jim Graham (D-
Ward 3 Ward 1). In his remarks, Graham noted his pride as a native Scotsman to be present at the renewal of a grand old library originally funded by the philanthropy of Scottish steel baron Andrew Carnegie.
That got me thinking what Graham might sound like had he kept a Scots brogue. He told me he lost his within three weeks of starting middle school in America as a wee lad. One thing led to another, and I asked Graham if he knew any poems by Scotland’s most famous poet, Robert Burns. Indeed he did, and WAMU-FM’s Patrick Madden caught it on camera:
That, of course, is — more or less — the first stanza of Burns’s “To a Mouse,” one line of which John Steinbeck appropriated for the title of his most famous novel. In any case, it’s a fine enough literary moment to inaugurate a lovely new library.