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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
He considers first examples of dissymmetry between metrical and syntactic structuring in which a small syntactic group spills from one line to the next (a form of enjambement) and of stychomythie (a series of short speeches constituting a line or series of verse lines in drama; 198-200).
Ao longo dos 295 hendecassilabos (decassilabos brancos, na metrica portuguesa) d' Os Sepulcros, alternados estilisticamente com versos de outras medidas por anisossilabismo, rico de enjambements e de licenca sintatica, a meditacao sobre a morte se transforma em um hino de lembranca a vida e de memoria a morte, alem de adquirir um significado de politica ressurgimental e de mensagem social, reflexos diretos de uma epoca que, dir-se-ia, parece pairar sob uma atmosfera sombria, se nao fosse, anos mais tarde, chamada de o Seculo das Luzes.
Dans les "Pensees de Joseph Delorme," Sainte-Beuve compare la poesie de Chenier a un vaste paysage vegetal, mais cite un de ses amis qui "a coutume de comparer les vers dithyrambiques d'Andre Chenier, ou les coupes et les enjambements surabondent, a ces combats decorches auxquels s'exercait l'illustre et infortune Gericault" (147, 148).
(38) Ne fanno parte il notissimo sonetto LIV, O Sonno, o de la queta, umida, ombrosa (ancora un capolavoro stilistico, in cui il procedimento invocativo e inter rogativo e rafforzato dalla quasi naturale intelaiatura di enjambements), (39) ma anche testi di definitiva rinuncia al mondo, come il son.