Enjambent - Mrs. McPhail English

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Term Tuesday
A discussion of literary and
rhetorical terms
Enjambment
Definitions
• When the units of sense in a passage
of poetry don't coincide with the
lines, and the sense runs on from one
line to another, the lines are said to
be enjambed
In class example
by Henry Vaughan
• With that some cried, "Away!" Straight I
Obeyed, and led
Full east, a fair, fresh field could spy;
Some called it Jacob's bed,
A virgin soil which no
Rude feet ere trod,
Where, since he stepped there, only go
Prophets and friends of God.
These lines are enjambed
• With that some cried, "Away!" Straight I
Obeyed, and led
Full east, a fair, fresh field could spy;
Some called it Jacob's bed,
A virgin soil which no
Rude feet ere trod,
Where, since he stepped there, only go
Prophets and friends of God.
Purpose
• Pulls the reader through the poem
• Quickens the pace
• Sounds more natural than a pause
every five feet.
Literary Example
T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land
• April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried…
End-stopped
• This is the opposite of enjambed
• The line is stopped at the end with a
mark of punctuation.
Example of End stopped
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
(Shakespeare, Sonnet 18)
Writing your own
• Write a 4 line poem about the finding
yourself with a partner. Create two
versions of the poem. One is endstopped, one is enjambed.
Mrs. O’Brien’s Finding
Herself-enjambed
“Not finding yourself at the age of
Thirty-four is a disgrace!” Willy Loman
Shouts from his play to me today. I at
Forty-one keep searching.
Mrs. O’Brien’s Finding
herself--end-stopped
I think of all the people that I’ve been;
You only see the shell that holds them in.
A daddy’s girl farming at age ten,
At twenty--wife, at thirty--mother hen.
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