You are officially invited to join the Secret Society of Enjambment. The only requirements are: 1. you write poetry; 2. you don't know if you're enjambing correctly. (You certainly can't be doing it right since enjamb isn't a real word according to Dictionary.com "No results found for enjamb: Did you mean encamp?"); 3. you believe that the poetry mumbo-jumbo you learned in college English is just that, MUMBO-JUMBO--language designed to make you think something is more complicated than it really is.
If you accept membership, you must swear that if you learn the secret of enjambment you will immediately share your findings with S.S.E. members or risk being thrown out on your ear! (We're a tough group.)
Okay, I call this first (and only) meeting to order!
First item on the agenda is a report on my research into the elusive definition of enjambment.
noun, plural en·jamb·ments [-muhnts] Prosody.
the running on of the thought from one line, couplet, or stanza to the next without a syntactical break.
Wikipedia: In poetry, enjambment or enjambement is the breaking of a syntactic unit or a clause over two or more lines without a punctuated pause.
Poetry Foundation: The running-over of a sentence or phrase from one poetic line to the next, without terminal punctuation; the opposite of end-stopped.
Poetry Archive: Enjambment is the continuation of a sentence or clause over a line-break. If a poet allows all the sentences of a poem to end in the same place as regular line-breaks, a kind of deadening can happen in the ear, and in the brain too, as all the thoughts can end up being the same length. Enjambment is one way of creating audible interest; others include caesurae, or having variable line-lengths.
Haverford.edu: A line which does not end with a grammatical break, that is, where the line cannot stand alone, cannot make sense without the following line, is enjambed. "Enjambment" comes from a French word meaning to put one's leg across, or to step over, just as the sense of the line steps over the end of the line.
Is this sense-of-the-line-stepping stuff starting to make sense?
How do you know you're doing it right? I guess if you don't punctuate your pauses, you're on the right path!
More research needs to be conducted.
Okay members! Any old business (which, in this case is also new business)? Announcements? If so, please add to the comments section below.
Before we go, however, please join me in singing our S.S.E. theme song. (To the tune of "Old MacDonald" and sung con spirito.)
Oh! Enjambment!This meeting of the Secret Society of Enjambment is now adjourned!
Before enjambment our
ears went dead.
Oy vey, oy vey! OH!
We now step over line
Joy vey, joy vey! OH!
With a line
here. And a line
a break, there
a break, everywhere
No more do our ears
& brains go dead.
JOY VEY, JOY VEY! OH!
If you hurry, there's more poetry to explore at the Round-Up being held at Think Kid, Think! Make note of enjambment, please, and report back!