Thick weave of winter. Skeins of brown
and dun. Wrapped in these

garments, the sky
heavy on our backs,

we stand in the rainfield
and make a covenant with the silence:

let us trample this trampled ground
as the long-eyed horses do,

go cross-field through rain
and ask for only

blue clouds, slow across
hilltops. Dark footholds of earth.

by Nina Bogin

‘Covenant’ is copyright © Nina Bogin, 2001. It is reprinted from The Winter Orchards (2001) by permission of Anvil Press.

Notes from Anvil Press:

Nina Bogin writes of her second collection that she has ‘drawn together poems that deal with the personal – family, friendship, love and loss; poems about landscape and place; and poems that try to come to grips with the larger world and its chaos. Uniting the poems is a common thread: the natural world and its impenetrable presence which, though threatened, remains a source of renewal and, therefore, of faith.’

Nina Bogin was born in New York City in 1952 and grew up on Long Island. She has been living in France since 1976. She works as a translator and as a teacher of English. Her poems have appeared in literary magazines in the United States, England and France. She received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1989 and published her first volume of poems, ‘In the North’, in the same year. A new collection, The Lost Hare, will be published by Anvil in April 2012.

Anvil Press, founded in 1968, is based in Greenwich, south-east London, in a building off Royal Hill that has been used at various points in its 150-year history as a dance-hall and a printing works. Anvil grew out of a poetry magazine which Peter Jay ran as a student in Oxford and retains its small company ethos. Visit Anvil’s website here, where you can sign up to their mailing list to find out about new publications and events.

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