Beauty is duty and duty beauty. So there.

I’m sure you’ll all be delighted to know that I’ve written some poetry in Latvian. You might wonder how, being here less than two months, I’ve grasped enough of the subtleties of the Latvian tongue to delve into the true depths of love and life that poetry requires, but let me assure you that it’s all here: time, beauty, and a very real sense of hunger all permeate my early work.

As anyone who’s thrashed their way through GSCE English will know, it’s not just about the overarching themes but the personal context in which the poems are placed. Here I am in this far flung land – so cut off I can’t watch the 6 o’clock news in English, never mind Scotish dialect – perhaps it’s only natural I should find those very English reflections on the weather and the decline of aristocratic classes creeping into my work. For they have, as you will see when you enage with my lines:

1. Skatās Debesīs
Laiks ir skaists,
Bet skaistums ir laiks.

1. I stare at the sky
The weather is beautiful,
But beauty is time.

I think this speaks entirely for itself. No explanation required. If you don’t grasp its multi-layered sensations as they ripple past one another, you are heartless indeed.

2. Čau Ģīvs!
Man ir viens piens
Tev ir divi zivi
Mums ir trīs pilis
Bet mēs esam izsalcis.

2. What ho, Jeeves!
I have one milk
You have two fish
We have three castles
But we are hungry.

What better way to express distate at our worship of property at the expense of proper financial management than by invoking an image of a lonely breadline existence against a backdrop of comparative wealth?

I await my Nobel Prize.

A rhyming planet

Today is National Poetry Day. By pure coincidence, it’s a piece of verse that’s been keeping me sane/sending me happily around the bend in the last 24 hours.

Things have been stressfull recently and I miss all my friends so badly. But – sigh no more, Kathryn. Along comes a beautiful song, some delightful dialogue and Keneth Branagh to sort it all out.

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever,
One foot in sea and one on shore,
To one thing constant never:
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

Sing no more ditties, sing no moe,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leafy:
Then sigh not so, but let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

If you haven’t seen it watch the whole thing, please! I am currently obsessed with this last scene, but I know it will lose the emotional pay-off if you miss out 90% of it… Here’s the last scene anyway.

It’s another Branagh-Thompson ’employ all our friends and family for six months’ effort. So from the geek side of things, there’s Emma’s mum, Imedla Staunton, Brian Blessed, and the curious case of Robert Sean Leonard (now in House) prancing around with Ken & Em, meaning that I keep expecting Hugh Laurie to come running in at any stage. But no, you’ll just have to make do with Ben Elton pretending to be a horse (!).