Renascence
Edna St. Vincent Millay

“All I could see from where I stood was three long mountains and a wood. I turned and looked another way and saw three islands in a bay.”



Edna St. Vincent Millay, one of America's greatest poets and the first woman to win The Pulitzer Prize for poetry, grew up in Camden, Maine.
Her sister Norma worked in the Whitehall Inn dining room.

At the end of every season, the mostly long-term guests invited staff to a party in the employee's honor, a masquerade ball in 1912. Norma brought along Edna, who entertained the guests and staff with her singing and playing the Steinway piano, which still resides in the Inn's lobby.

Her friends prompted her to recite a poem for the first time in public, and her recital of the poem "Renascence" enthralled everyone. The poem was written atop Mt. Battie, just above the back side of our Inn. One well-heeled guest arranged for Millay's scholarship to Vassar College and introduced her to the literary community in New York City, the launching pad for Millay's meteoric rise as poet and playwright.

After Millay's death in 1950, hundreds of people, including celebrities, crowded into the Whitehall Inn to dedicate a room in the poet's honor. The Millay Room in the Inn where she was discovered (pictured above), including the grand piano on which she also performed, provides a glimpse into the life and writings of one of America's most accomplished writers.