Burns’s contribution to romantic poetry:
He was the greatest rustic poet (rustic = about countryside life) of the 18th century. He had all sorts of aesthetic tendencies – classicism, romanticism, and he assimilated a long line of Scottish literary tradition.
Much of his finest work is satirical or descriptive. His poetry always remained close to its vital roots and the oral tradition of Scotland. He is the greatest song writer that Britain ever produced.
His best known ballad is Tam O’ Shanter, 1791 which is written in the Scottish dialect. He wrote two volumes of poetry – The Kilmarnock vol. 1786 and The Edinburgh vol. 1787 which is a mixture of love poems, ballads, satiric poems, folk songs and anarchist cantatas.
He influenced William Wordsworth, S. T. Coleridge, P. B. Shelley. Burns influenced also Scottish writers, he worked to collect and preserve Scottish folk songs, sometimes rewriting, expanding and adopting them.