Enjambment

When it comes to poetry, I often struggle with enjambment. For those that don’t know what enjambment is, I’m talking about line breaks. How do you know when to end a line? I was taught that lines should stand alone, but hint towards more. Do you agree?

I do, but how do you go from one stanza to the next in the middle of a thought? You’ll see in the very beginning of my poem below what I mean. Where is it working and where can I improve this?

And what about revisions? How often do you find yourself rearranging lines? Do you try to end lines on certain words to see if they change the meaning? Am I looking too closely into my poetry? Is that even possible? Should I just focus on writing?

Enjambment

How do you move
forward when backwards
seems so much easier,

so much more natural,
even though everyone says
you can’t look back?

What if looking back
helps you move forward
because looking back

shows you the path you need
to be on while saying
it’s okay to start fresh,

so long as you know
enough to not make the same
mistake again and again?

We all know how to help
ourselves in ways
no one else can understand.

 

Submissions

If you’re interested in submitting your own poetry or work of any other genre for the Winter Issue of Come and Go Literary, see my submission guidelines for more details. There’s no fee, so you have no excuse not to.

 

18 Comments Add yours

  1. sarahjayn says:

    I agree with sakshigangwani, once you put too much focus on the mechanics of poetry it looses it’s soul. I don’t write poetry anymore, having drudged through it in high school with all the emotional puberty issues, but I do remember that when I just went with the feeling or thought that I wanted to express it went more smoothly. Although I did focus and do research on the type of poem I wanted to write before I wrote it, allowing me to fit it into a type rather than just being freestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think flow is more important than form for sure. There just has to be a balance. If you’re going into a poem with the sole intention of not breaking the form. That can be good and bad. It teaches you to work within parameters, and it teaches you how to manipulate words, which can be just as freeing. However, if you’re stuck on that same poem and you’re a syllable short or can’t find the right word to complete a rhyme, I’m all about breaking the meter. Sometimes that has its own meaning too.

      Like

      1. sarahjayn says:

        I completely agree, if it doesn’t work in the confinement then it’s creative license to just break the rules

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The moment we focus on technique the soul goes out of your piece…best is to go with the flow. But I am no expert 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree about going with the flow, but I think technique can also help lift people out of writer’s block — similar to how it can keep people from moving forward if they’re stuck. Writers have to be open to looking at their work from all angles. If no technique is working, go with it. If you need to understand why something isn’t working, maybe understanding technique will provide an answer.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I do agree with you here

        Like

  3. Nitin says:

    Man I’ve never really given it much importance even when I write using meter. But you’ve got me thinking a lot about it. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anytime dude. It’s not natural for me so I think about it more than most.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I hear you, I struggle with the same thing. I try to make line breaks, pauses, etc. as important in conveying a feeling as the words I use. I think at times it works for me, in my head but may not always come across to the reader in the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve learned to use the voice recognition on my phone whenever I’m alone and can actually record the thoughts/poems in my head. Speaking them out loud first is such an under appreciated way of starting the writing process.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always speak/act out my writing, I agree it helps a ton.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. tara caribou says:

          Stories, I’m the exact same way. I read my work out loud at least twice, usually closer to six times, depending on what it is and my state of wakefulness.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. tara caribou says:

    Enjambment can be very important and change the entire poem. You’re right, depending on the style, each pause can be just as important as the words on either side. Less so in rhyming or measured poems. But certainly for free verse, in my opinion. Depending on my poem and content, I sometimes use it and sometimes don’t. But that’s me. I’m no expert.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed as well. I’m all about structure in everything I do, so giving myself full freedom isn’t always easy. But I try, like everyone else. We live and we learn, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I look at poetry as an artist would approach painting. You go with your style and let others figure it out. We’re not in English class anymore getting a grade on what other poets used to do. So mix it up. End things when you feel it needs an end. Throw a line in by itself that makes a punch. But make it your painting. And don’t get me wrong. If you’re entering a contest and it has some type of rule, then follow that, but to me I’m going to make my painting (poem) the way I want to. It’s art. Hope this is helpful and not too abrupt. 🙂 Thanks for bringing up the topic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed. I’m all about doing my own thing and making my own rules. Otherwise what’s the point of poetry. With that said, I enjoy evoking some kind of meaning in every single word and line so I pay very close attention to what I’m putting on the page. I like learning about other people’s writing process for inspiration.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sweet. And that’s a great approach.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.