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Pic of the Week: A Simple Sunset

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O setting sun! though the time has come,

I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated adoration.

~ Walt Whitman, “Song at Sunset”

This picture was taken from the sixth floor balcony of the James Madison Building recently, as the sun set over Washington, D.C., bathing the sky in a lovely peach hue. Frankly, it has me longing for the spring and perhaps enjoying this time of day al fresco, particularly as the weather here of late has been perfect for such a thing .

Sunset from the balcony of the Madison Building./Abby Brack

I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with the above poem by Whitman poem and just so happened to run across it the other day. But it is fitting don’t you think? Looking at the picture certainly does give that sense of wonder and amazement that the Good Gray Poet puts into verse.

This particular poem is part of Whitman’s larger work, “Leaves of Grass.” The Library houses the largest archival collection of Walt Whitman materials in the world, including several editions of his seminal work, as Whitman revised the compendium many times over the course of his life.


  1. Truly splendid. I think about more than the old poet though. I think about the grandeur of something bigger than ourselves.

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