Enjambement

The Enjambement is a lyrical stylistic device that is not found in the spoken language, but only in the written one. Enjambement is the passage of a sentence or sense unit from a verse in the following. The stylistic device is also referred to as a line jump or break.

We usually find the so-called row style in the lyric. This means that the send and end of the sentence coincide immediately in one line. This rigid form is broken by the Enjambement. If there are very many such jumps in a poem, one speaks in science of a hook-style, whereby sentence and sending do not coincide in one line.

Note: The word can be derived from French and means “overrun” or “skip” (fr enjamber). The translation shows very well what the style-figure has in itself. For basically, this means an overshooting of the boundaries.

The Enjambement recognize
Let us first look at a poem that was written in the typical line style and then take a look at the described style figure by means of a brief example.

Verses in classic line style in Heinrich Heine’s “The Wanderratten”
They probably clamber over the heights,
They swim through the lakes;
Some people drown or break their nape,
The living leave the dead back.
The selected example for the row style is the third stanza from Heinrich Heines The Wanderratten. We can see that each line (verse) is formed from a set. Very good you can also recognize the punctuation mark at the end of all lines. In addition, each verse forms a sense unit.

Sentence and dispatch therefore coincide. The effect is that we immediately make a break after reading each line. We call such a break in the science of caesura (incision).
Verses with Enjambement in Eichendorff’s “Die Nachtblume”
Night is like a quiet sea,
Lust and sorrow and love laments
come so confused
in the lulling waves.
This text example is the first stanza from Joseph Eichendorff’s “Die Nachtblume”. In the first line of verse there is still a single sentence, but the following are marked by two line jumps. For the proposition which begins in the second verse is continued in the third, and ends only after another revolution (Enjambement) in the fourth line. The sentence thus goes over several verses.

Sentence and dispatch do not coincide with Enjambement. The caesura, as in the above example, is omitted and we tend to merge the verses in (pre-reading).

 

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