Photograph of the week: Portland Head Lighthouse, Cape Elizabeth, Casco Bay, Maine, USA

“The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,
And on its outer point, some miles away,
The Lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day…”

In 1849, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow began his poem “The Lighthouse” with this stanza in what was widely believed to be an ode to Portland Head Light, a historic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Longfellow was, after all, a frequent visitor at Portland Head, whiling away long hours talking and drinking with Joshua Strout, keeper at the time.

“Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same,
Year after year, through all the silent night
Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light!”

The most visited, painted, and photographed lighthouse in New England, Portland Head has inspired more than its fair share of artistic excellence with its “quenchless flame” and “inextinguishable light”, as Longfellow so eloquently put it. Edward Hopper…

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