Enjambment

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Enjambment

 

in prosody, placement of the syntactic pause or stop at a position other than the rhythmic pause at the end of a line, hemistich, or stanza.

In classical verse there are three kinds of enjambment: rejet is the placement of the end of a clause or sentence at the beginning of the following line, contre-rejet the placement of the beginning of a sentence at the end of the preceding line, and double-rejet the placement of the beginning of a sentence at the end of one line and its conclusion at the start of the following line.

When enjambments are used sparingly, they give a strong intonational emphasis to the parts of the sentence severed by the line’s division. If they are numerous, they produce an intonation so close to that of prose that it almost obscures the verse rhythm; this is particularly true in dramatic verse. Classicism avoided enjambment; romanticism and some poetic schools of the 20th century cultivated it. An example of enjambment from modern poetry can be seen in the following lines of M. Tsvetaeva:

It matters not to me among which
People—I shall be bristling like a captive
Lion, or from what circle of people
I shall be excluded—inevitably …

REFERENCE

Shengeli, G. Tekhnika stikha. Moscow, 1960.

M. L. GASPAROV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Echoing its scriptural provenance, the plea--invigorated by the enjambed trio "Replace," "Inspire," "Stir"--resonates with Christian confessional literature in its most urgent form.
Poetry is not only measured, but typically countermeasured, so that spacing at one level or scale is played off against spacing at another level or scale: line against sentence, as in enjambed blank verse, phrase against line and stanza, as in Dickinson's poems, et cetera.
In addition to Alarcon's "Roots," he quotes from an enjambed verse in Tato Laviera's "asimilao." "Asimilao," as is well known, appears in Laviera's book of poetry AmeRican, and it is here where that missing accent in Flores's raices becomes significant.
As the enjambed sentences, absent punctuation, and fluid swapping of referentiality between obtaining "ashes" and "undressing" Sarah reveals, Eggers's desperate attempt to transfer trauma's overflow into another's bodily containers enacts the paradoxical desire to earn emotional wholeness by generating and purging erotic excess.
Extremely long enjambed lines can fool the reader into thinking that one is reading wordy prose poems, but this is verse, from the mind of a poet at the zenith of her powers.
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Syntactical forms thereby come to represent the tentative search for extension or event in the fragmented and enjambed lines of his "flattened" poems by adding a definable sense to feelings as emotions experienced rather than reflected upon.
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Raz belongs to the Rich strain, offering poems in signature latter-twentieth-century free verse--loose, varied, enjambed lines with occasional strophic or closed forms thrown into the mix--and cast in direct diction with straightforward syntax, as in these lines from "Visit":
pause or silence." "These bounded units," she goes on, "can be made in varying sizes and with a varying semantic goal." She specifies the word as one such "bounded unit," as in modernist and avant-garde poetry where "words (or even just letters) sometimes hang alone in an open space." More typical, of course, is the unit of the line which, as the long history of poetry analysis amply documents, can be variously counterpointed with the sentence, that is, enjambed: "Sentence or statement may be draped, or shaped, across a number of lines." At every level, however, the crucial factor in poetry's construction of meaning is spacing:
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