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Enjambment

 

Techniques > Use of language > Figures of speech > Enjambment

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Enjambment is the breaking of a phrase or sentence at an unexpected point, typically in verse.

Example

I would come to
you, with your weeping
hair and deep
and dismal eyes.

I want to know that...I am really...sorry.

Discussion

Breaking a line of verse or putting a pause into a sentence makes the other person pause. In that pause, they will likely review what has just been said, reflecting on what was said and rehearsing for what is to come.

Enjambment adds an unexpected element to this, causing surprise, confusion and thereby additional attention. With an unusual break in what you say, you can therefore add suspense, sustain attention and emphasize certain words.

Enjambment comes from the French 'enjambement', meaning 'straddling'.

Classification: Attention

 

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