Walt Whitman

I’m not ten pages in and I see-

Father, what is that in the sky beckoning to me with long
And what does it say to me all the while?

Nothing, my babe, you see in the sky;
And nothing at all to you it says. But look you, my babe, Look at these dazzling things in the houses, and see you
the money-shops opening;
And see you the vehicles preparing to crawl along the streets with goods;
These! ah, these! how valued and toil’d for, these!
How envied by all the earth!  – Walk Whitman, Drum – Taps

Walt died in 1882.  He’s telling us much.  The child saw and asked the father who saw little.  It’s a warning.  For any of us who can see and those who cannot.  It’s time to stop asking.  His father does damage and ‘These! ah, these!’ is a bullshit red flag. His father’s emotion wasn’t important then and it’s not important now.  What was important was the child asking the question.


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