Walt Whitman

I’m not ten pages in and I see-

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

Father
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.