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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Whitehall Inn - Camden, Maine

This is the Whitehall Inn on High Street in Camden, Maine. If you’ve not been here or even passed by, you may recognize it from the movie “Peyton Place” (1957).

But its film stardom is only a footnote in this famous inn, founded in 1901. Among its famous visitors was at least one nobody who started on her road to fame here. This of course was the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, who wrote her watershed poem “Renascence” on the top of nearby Mount Battie and recited it before guests and staff at the Whitehall Inn in 1912. One impressed guest helped send the talented girl to college, and a giant in American poetry was that guest’s gift to all of us.

From the final stanza of “Renesscence” by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

“The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky, --
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.”

For more on the Whitehall Inn, kindly have a look at this website.

Been there? Done that? Wrote a poem in the dining room? Let us know.

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