Where the Blue Begins

By George Bradley b. 1953 George Bradley
In the southern Adriatic, where the blue begins,   
We came to rest awhile and play
On sun-drenched islands known as Tremiti,   
Where the breeze blows fresh
And pine trees shiver and the salt sea   
Washes the likes of you and me,
In the southern Adriatic, in the wind-blown spray.   
In the bluest water, just where it begins,   
We came to play awhile, came to rest   
On rocky shores of barren coves,
As the swells arrived and water splashed
And reflected sunlight jumped and shimmered   
Among the cliffs and overhangs and grottoes,   
In the Adriatic, where that sort of thing begins.   
In the clear blue water that the swells bring by   
Out of the sunny Adriatic Sea,
We came to rest and play and bathe ourselves,   
As the pine trees swayed on the bluffs above   
And wind dispersed the salt sea spray,
In the sunny Adriatic, where a way of life begins.   
We came seeking an immersion, to find ourselves   
In waters clear enough to fathom
A bottom profoundly blue, to see it seemed   
All the way to Greece or any other site
That water washed as well or sun could so ignite,   
Came to see ourselves in a world of dreams,   
That words might furnish what place implies,   
That place might finish what a word begins.   
We came seeking clearest water, sunniest sky,   
Came, you and I, to see what would be seen   
Immersed in waters consummately blue,   
In sunlit swells that carried their dark secret,   
Tiny hosts known as meduse, whose fragile arms
Glanced and stung and burned all day
And raised the blush that blossomed on our skins,   
Aggravated by the sun and spray,
By our own attempts to hold each other,
As we swam out of ourselves and were swept away,   
In the southern Adriatic, where the blue begins.

George Bradley, “Where the Blue Begins” from Terms to be Met. Copyright © 1986 by George Bradley. Reprinted with the permission of Yale University Press.

Source: Terms to be Met (Yale University Press, 1986)

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Poet George Bradley b. 1953

Subjects Nature, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Activities

 George  Bradley


Poet and anthologist George Bradley was born in Roslyn, New York in 1953. He earned a BA from Yale, and took his master’s degree at the University of Virginia. His books of poetry include Terms to Be Met (1986), which won the Yale Younger Poets Prize, Of the Knowledge of Evil (1991), The Fire Fetched Down (1996), Some Assembly Required (2001), and A Few of Her Secrets (2011). Bradley has worked as a construction foreman, a . . .

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SUBJECT Nature, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Seas, Rivers, & Streams, Activities

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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