Matthew Shenoda portrays the development of the speaker's attitude toward history in the poem "In Passing" through the use of active verbs that describe an overwhelming desire for a deeper level of historical rootedness.
These verbs—scurries and floats—depict our journey toward the past as we head there in search of our long-vanished heritage. The modern world, with all its advanced technology, may make it easy for us to connect to one another, but it also separates us from our past, helping us to ignore a crucial part of who we are.
Yearning is another verb form used by Shenoda to describe the development of the speaker's attitude toward history. Even though this yearning may be inarticulate—it is in a language that we have forgotten—and not easily comprehensible, it is there all the same. It is a part of each and every one of us, lying in the very balls of our feet, which connect us to the ground upon which we walk.
History lives in other parts of our bodies, such as our knees and our bellies. It waits for release, which comes through the ancient art of storytelling, which connects us with our distant past.