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(SOLVED) Why Is Enjambment Used In Poems?

The function of enjambment in poetry is typically to allow an idea to continue beyond the limitations of a single line, often to reinforce certain ideas within the lines themselves 😁Enjambment can also be used to surprise a reader, by setting up one idea in the first line and then changing that idea in some way in the second line 🔥 It can also be used to maintain a rhythm that is stronger than perpetual end-stopping 🙈 By using enjambment, a poet is able to effectively pull the reader along from one line to the next and establish a fast rhythm or pace for a poem. [1]
Mary Oliver is a poet that you might not have heard of. You should add her to your summer reading list. Why? It doesn’t matter if you are good. That’s the first line of one of her poems. You don’t need much else from the first line of a poem. In her Poetry Handbook: A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry, Mary Oliver explains that “When… the poet enjambs the line—turns the line so that a logical phrase is interrupted—it speeds the line for two reasons: curiosity about the missing part of the phrase impels the reader to hurry on, and the reader will hurry twice as fast over the obstacle of a pause because it is there. We leap with more energy over a ditch than over no ditch.” (last edited 23 days ago by Aileen Bowser from Guangyuan, China) [2]
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Literarydevices.net He explains that lineation refers to the arrangement of lines relative to one clause or thought. The line breaks that occur at the conclusion of any phrase or entire thought within a poem form part of its structure, and are an expectation for the reader. Poetry can use enjambment to counter this expectation. This is because the poet surprises the reader by ending their poetic thoughts at a point other than that of the poem’s poetic line. The poet has more control over the words they create, the sound they make, and how they feel to the reader. Jenson Simons (from Joinville, Brazil), last edited the text 90 days ago [3]
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Trevon Self, litcharts.comHowever, it can be hard to determine if a line has been enjambed solely on punctuation in certain poems. Numerous poets may use punctuation in unusual ways or not at all. It is important to note that punctuation can only indicate where a sentence or phrase ends. For example, in Romeo and Juliet’s opening line, the comma between the lines divides two sentences. Although there is a punctuation marker, the first sentence doesn’t make any sense without its line. This makes it enjambed. A reader should pay close attention to how punctuation is used to propel the poem forward, or to make pauses. The following is an excerpt taken from a poem by Emily DickinsonThis is a woman who is famous for her unconventional use of punctuation. We are grateful to Anastacia Schafer, who helped us with our latest revision. [4]

Article references

  1. https://pchujman.cumbresblogs.com/2013/06/07/what-is-the-function-of-enjambment-in-poetry/
  2. https://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/wlf/what-enjambment
  3. https://literarydevices.net/enjambment/
  4. https://www.litcharts.com/literary-devices-and-terms/enjambment
Kelly-Anne Kidston

Written by Kelly-Anne Kidston

I am a writer of many words, from fiction to poetry to reviews. I am an avid reader and a lover of good books. I am currently writing my first novel and would love to find some beta readers who are interested in getting an early look.

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