The continuation of a phrase or clause past a line break is known as enjambment. For example, in his poem "The Good-Morrow," poet John Donne used enjambment by continuing the opening sentence over the line break between the first and second lines: "I marvel, by my troth, what thou and I did till we loved." Enjambment can be used to great effect in poems that are descriptive or dramatic and need to convey emotion.
In general usage, enjambment means the act of extending beyond a boundary or limit. In literature, it is the continuation of a thought or sentence beyond the usual stopping place, which can express many different ideas including hope, expectation, enthusiasm, etc. The term comes from the French word enjamber, meaning to step over or leap over, and it is used here to describe the extension of a poetic line or passage.
Examples of uses of enjambment in poetry include:
Enjambment is the continuing of a sentence from one line of a poem to the next without any specified stop, regardless of the break in the line, and can even span numerous lines or stanzas. It is often but not always caused by the fact that the reader/listener is expected to continue the thought on where it left off.
Examples include sentences which are incomplete or lacking in punctuation, such as "The dog was brown," "The dog was white with brown spots." Even when there is punctuation, if the idea does not seem to be completed until the next line or stanza is reached, then enjambment has occurred, for example "I like dogs. Brown ones particularly." The second sentence continues the thought after the comma, so enjambed sentences are common in informal writing.
In formal writing, where complete sentences are preferred, enjambment is less common because punctuation is used to indicate the end of one thought and the beginning of another, for example "I like dogs. Brown ones particularly. They're fun to play with." In this case, the first sentence would be followed by a period instead of a comma to indicate its completion, so as not to interrupt the flow of ideas within the sentence.
Enjambment is defined as A literary trick in which a line of poetry carries its concept or thinking over to the following line without a grammatical gap is known as an enjambment. This signifies that the notion or idea "steps over" the conclusion of one line of a poem and into the next. Alliteration is when two or more words in the same sentence begin with the same letter. It is often used to create a rhythm in poems, songs, and chants.
Examples: Enjambment can be seen in this line from John Donne's Holy Sonnet XVIII: "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." Alliteration can be found in this line from Emily Dickinson's poem No. 645: "Because I could not stop for death / He had to take me when I did not want to go / The doctors say that I shall live / But who will love me?"
Enjambment encourages the reader to continue reading from one line to the next because, most of the time, an enjambed line of poetry will not make complete sense until the reader finishes the phrase or sentence on the following line or lines. By doing this, the poet increases the difficulty and complexity of the poem.
Additionally, enjambment is used by some poets as a way of showing the flow of thoughts in their mind without using punctuation marks. This allows them to express themselves more freely than they could with traditional forms like sonnets or villanellas where each line must be completed before moving on to the next.
Finally, enjambment is useful for making poems that are so abstract or general that a full stop or comma would not make sense. For example, "The moon smiles at midnight" is enjambed poetry because it makes no sense to finish the first line until you know what country it is written in, how old the writer is, etc. In this case, enjambment is used to show that there is no point at which you can fully understand the meaning of the poem, only experience it.
In conclusion, enjambment is used by some poets to increase the difficulty and complexity of their work while others use it to show the flow of thoughts in their mind without using punctuation marks.
Enjambment occurs when there is no punctuation at the end of a line, leading the lines to flow together. Brooks declares in her poem, "We are very hip. We ditched school," and she repeats this throughout the piece. Listen to Gwendolyn Brooks read it now. You can hear the beat as it flows from one line to the next.
In addition to being rhythmic, enjambment can also be thought of as rhetorical. As Brooks uses different forms of repetition and variation to keep our attention while still giving us new information about what it means to be hip, so too does she use enjambment to pull us along with the poem's rhythm even as we are being informed on various topics. For example, toward the end of the poem, when Brooks discusses ditching school, she does so by mentioning that you should ditch your books "for joy" or that people will think you're crazy if you ditch your books "for fun." Even though these sentences aren't complete until the end where they connect with the previous sentence, they still provide more information about what it means to be hip and why someone might want to ditch school.
Brooks uses enjambment to great effect in many other parts of the poem as well.