Written for: dVerse Poets Pub – Meeting The Bar: “Enjambment in Sonnets” (posted by Jilly)
“The use of punctuation in poetry, especially when it is read aloud, is just as essential as it is in prose, but many of us find it difficult to read a poem to the punctuation as opposed to the line breaks, but that is just what we are meant to do.
An enjambed line is one in which the sentence does not stop at the end of the line; it runs through the line. Why do poets use this technique and how do we handle it as readers of poetry?
One of the reasons poets choose to use an enjambed line is that it gives us multiple ways to look at a single thought in the poem. Our eyes, as readers, naturally take a slight pause at the end of a line – this makes that end-word so very, very crucial. The most important word in a line of poetry is the end word; the second most important word is the first word in the line. As writers of poetry this gives us a whole extra set of tools over writers of prose. We have the end word in a line, the first word in a line, and we have the role of punctuation as well.”
An aquiline nose belies the beast with
-in him. Spectacles add air of benign-
ness, leading women to trust, deaf to hiss
he tries to hide while brushing lint from fine
immaculate suit. He speaks and his wit
rends him irresistible and charming
to those women he stalks when lamps are lit.
A scoundrel he is, yet quite disarming.
Arriving at door with roses in hand,
for invitation to an intimate dinner.
Once inside he brandishes a knife, as planned
with which to slit their throats. Calls them sinners.
He tiptoes out the door, suppressing glee;
if caught he will plead insanity.