I recall as a child learning the poem Renascence by 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.”

The poet’s words were written in 1912 or earlier atop Mt. Battie which overlooks Camden Harbor, on the Maine coast.

When I was a child, my family (mother, father, sister, and I) lived in Lincolnville, the next town up the coast from Camden. And so, I have stood on that mountain many times from childhood to adulthood. And each time I have pictured the poet writing those words as I too turned and looked another way.

A few weeks ago while browsing in a used book store in Cambridge, I found a large book of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay and sadly could not remember the name of the poem and so was unable to find those words that I grew up hearing.

What got me thinking about this and prompted me to search the web for the familiar poem above was an entry in Attorney Leanna Hamill’s Massachusetts Estate Planning and Elder Law blog. Her entry titled “When Someone Dies” starts out with words from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Sonnets from an Ungrafted Tree:

“I don’t know exactly what it is you do when someone dies”

Thankfully, Leanna Hamill’s blog entry points to some helpful lists of things to do – – And believe me, there’s plenty to do.

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