'The silent spruces' of 'Cold Arse'

Shore of Ragged Island.

Shore of Ragged Island.

Ragged Island, in Casco Bay, from above.

Ragged Island, in Casco Bay, from above.

“There, thought unbraids itself, and the mind becomes single.

There you row with tranquil oars, and the ocean

Shows no scar from the cutting of your placid keel;

Care becomes senseless there; pride and promotion

Remote; you only look; you scarcely feel….

Oh, to be there, under the silent spruces,

Where the wide, quiet evening darkens without haste

Over a sea with death acquainted, yet forever chaste.’’


From “Ragged Island,’’ by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ragged Island, in beautiful Harpswell,  Maine, was the summer home of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and husband, Eugen Jan Boissevain, from 1933 until her death in 1950. It is now a private residence. Harpswell is the home of the revered Cook's Lobster & Ale House, on Bailey Island.

A 1790 maritime chart identifies Ragged Island simply as Cold Arse.