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The clever utilization of parentheses by Lisa Moss in "where choosing comes and, with a bent stick, lines drawn | thin in the stained earth | (so thin that passing feet obliterate one end as the other | is drawn)" (Moss, line 10-13) portrays the juxtaposition of one's verbal speech with their spoken thoughts, encapsulated in parentheses, to show how spoken thoughts are worthless as they do not leave a real mark. The "passing feet" (Moss, line 12) symbolizes the tendency for people to tread upon the idea of others and how they point out the flaws of an idea before it has fully matured, creating repercussions that cause people to second guess themselves the next time a daring idea appears.
The negative effect is shown by her passage that "With countless disguised surrenders of the will, | not understanding but acquiescence is made | and these strands are but flags of victory and defeat— | tattered remnants of lost | (not lost, conceded) | destiny | (not destiny, choosing)" (Moss, line 15-21) the person becomes more indecisive when creating thoughts and that you contradict yourself. With the passages "surrenders of will" (Moss, line 15) and "(not lost, conceded) | destiny | (not destiny, choosing)" (Moss, line 19-21) Moss signifies how a person chooses to revise their thoughts away from the original and towards the thoughts of those which are imprinted upon them. This reinforces how she points out the impossibility of creating original ideas instead of recycling the knowledge that we have accumulated over our educational lives.
She formulated this poem with ambiguity in mind to ensure that the reader would draw from their own imagination. Moss writes, "But not this one, see? Ah smoothness calm enduring | toward mutation" (Moss, line 23-24) giving the reader a very ambiguous thought to ponder, yet again using their own imagination. "Something wordless and terrifying | soon crushed by a misappropriated sense of understanding since" (Moss, line 24-25) is an example of people trying to interpret the unknown.
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