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Nahant: Poetry by the Sea



Polly BradelyPOLLY BRADLEY        ( 1932 –     ) is a longtime Nahant resident active in community affairs.  She was chair of the committee that produced Nahant Voices, a 1984 anthology of Nahant writing, she wrote an environmental column for the Massachusetts Audubon Society for fourteen years, and she has worked for many years on behalf of Nahant residents as chairperson of SWIM (Safe Waters for Massachusetts). Born in Ponca City, OK, she came east to attend Radcliffe College, and with her future husband Larry, then an MIT student, first traveled to Nahant via bus and subway to be near the ocean.  Both the sonnet “Sources of Strength” and “Skipping Stone” show the poet’s deep engagement with Nahant’s seashore. In 2011, the self-published Seaward Skyward collected a lifetime of Polly Bradley's poetry, embodying her humor and her love of family, nature and Nahant.





Walking on Tudor Beach in a summer mist,
I draw a wild strength as the waves sing,
Spraying my face, tingly, cool, salt-kissed
Under a silver sky, soft as seagull’s wing.
Resting on a boulder as night encircles the shore,
I draw an inner strength as I ardently pray
My grandchildren’s world may give them more
Than an outgoing tide with never an incoming day.
Playing with a grandchild next morning on warming sand,
I draw a human strength from her sunny joy,
Her innocence, her trust as she takes my hand,
Her delight as she makes a sand dollar into a toy.
Eternal love, make me steady, bold and strong
To right a tiny share of the world’s great wrong.


courtesy: Polly Bradley