Spice Cupboard

Nina Bogin

Juniper and clove,
thyme and tarragon.
Who can I depend upon?Star anise and linden flower,
I went away, and even further.
I broke the hearts of my father and mother.Rosemary and marjoram.
I married, we had a son
who stayed in the womb,who wasn’t born.
Sorrow of lemon balm.
Solace of hypericum.Lavender and coriander.
We had a daughter
and another daughter.Raspberry leaf, chamomile and cinnamon.
My first daughter has a daughter
and a son.Cardamom and ginger root,
cumin and turmeric.
This is my second daughter’s music.Poppy seed and elderflower.
I’m not yet old,
but getting older.Gingko, saffron and dill
will not cure
my husband’s ills.Marigold and rue,
hyssop and shepherd’s wort.
All I haven’t learnt.Bay leaf, sage and caraway.
Which confers wisdom?
Which longevity?Nasturtium and rose,
starflower and clover.
Flowers to think things over.

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Nina Bogin was born in the U.S. and lives in France. Her fourth collection, Thousandfold (Carcanet), will appear in January 2019.

PN Review

November/December 2018


General Editor
Michael Schmidt

Deputy Editor
Andrew Lattimer

Through all its twists and turns, responding to social, technological and cultural change, PN Review has stayed the course. While writers of moment, poets and critics, essayists and memoirists, and of course readers, keep finding their way to the glass house, and people keep throwing stones, it will have a place.

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—Cairns Craig, Times Literary Supplement

“…probably the most informative and entertaining poetry journal in the English-speaking world.”
—John Ashbery

“…the premier British poetry journal. Its coverage is broad and generous: from John Ashbery to new young English poets, from essays on Continental poetics and fiction to reviews of neglected poets both living and dead. At a time when poetry is largely neglected, [it] continues to make an eloquent case for its centrality to our culture.”
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