It was just at the dawn of the 20th century that a young New Englander by the name of Edna St. Vincent Millay submitted her first poem of note. Those in the poetry world recognized greatness immediately and her visible career as one of America’s great poets was launched. The poem was titled Renascence and its over 200 lines were based on her experience of sitting on a mountain above her beloved Camden, Maine, and looking to the hills at her back and Penobscot Bay and its islands before her.
Kathy and I visited that very site in our own recent travels. It is not difficult to imagine her inspiration at the sight. But with all the imagination in the world one is not given Millay’s crisp elegance of verse. That is a gift, something to be savored and tasted like the mountains and sea that accompanied her pen to paper those many years ago:
All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I’d started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.