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Tiny Ruins takeover: Walt Whitman’s When I Heard at the Close of the Day

OLYMPIC GIRLS

The song ‘Olympic Girls‘ was first titled ‘Under the Same Cover’. At some point while writing the songs on the album, I picked up Leaves of Grass, and there was an immediacy and kind of sensuous teeming of life within the words that felt like I was being pulled out of my monotonous existence and shaken awake. I poached a line from the poem below – “under the same cover”…for the opening lines of the title track, and from memory, it was sort of the ‘trigger’ for the writing of the song. I love the idea behind this poem. — Tiny Ruins

When I Heard at the Close of the Day
BY WALT WHITMAN

When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d with plaudits in the capitol, still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d,
And else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d, still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health, refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed, laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming, O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish’d me more, and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast – and that night I was happy.

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