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I'm looking for poetry that makes exceptional use of enjambment, both positively and negatively.
April 3, 2012 7:53 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for poetry that makes exceptional use of enjambment, both positively and negatively.

It's an area of poetry that I've always found a little difficult to analyse, especially in lots of contemporary free verse, where I can sometimes get suspicious that it isn't just being used to make the poem look more poem-y.

I'm therefore after some real notable enjamblers. I'm not looking for generally great or favourite poems here – I want to read poets for whom:
  • the line break is their chief skill, or
  • they are superlative geniuses in all other aspects, but are actually slightly crappy enjamblers.
I want to read a bunch of poetry in which the line breaks stand out for one reason or another.

Thanks!
posted by Cantdosleepy to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Robert Creeley. Here is an example.
posted by eunoia at 8:14 AM on April 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


Elizabeth Bishop, esp. One Art
posted by PinkMoose at 8:20 AM on April 3, 2012


I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but Miss Suzie is a famous kids' rhyme that is based on using enjambment.
posted by phoenixy at 8:22 AM on April 3, 2012 [4 favorites]


As in most poetry questions, Milton is your guy. The way he plays with line breaks and enjambment throughout Paradise Lost is (not to be too punny) simply divine.
posted by Dorinda at 10:00 AM on April 3, 2012


Oh, also, in case you haven't checked out the Wikipedia article on enjambment, it has a few great examples.
posted by phoenixy at 11:12 AM on April 3, 2012


Marianne Moore does this quite a lot, especially with the "found fragments" that she weaves into her poems. To a Steamroller is a personal favorite of mine, and The Fish is probably one of the best examples of her use of enjambment.
posted by tractorfeed at 12:42 PM on April 3, 2012


Here's "(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness)" by e.e. cummings
posted by kettleoffish at 3:49 PM on April 3, 2012


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