How are ambiguity and precision used in the poem "Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane"?
In "Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane," the legend of Hard Rock is created by juxtaposing precise details of his exploits with ambiguity about how the stories of these exploits originated and who saw them happen.
The main use of ambiguity and precision, continually juxtaposed in "Hard Rock Returns to Prison from the Hospital for the Criminal Insane," is to create the legend of Hard Rock and his exploits. This, after all, is how legends are made. The speaker can pinpoint precise details in his quest for artistic verisimilitude but can't say how he knows them or who told him the story.
This uncertainty is characterized in the second stanza of the poem as "the WORD." No one can say who originally spoke "the WORD," but what is says is undoubtedly precise:
... the doctors had bored a hole in his head,Cut out part of his brain, and shot electricityThrough the rest.
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