Enjambement (enjambment): French for “striding over,” a poetic statement that spans more than one line. Lines exhibiting enjambement do not end with grammatical breaks, and their sense is not complete without the following line(s). Such lines are also commonly referred to as run-on lines and are distinguished from end-stopped lines. The meaning of an end-stopped line, in which a grammatical pause marked by punctuation and the physical end of the line coincide, is complete in itself.
EXAMPLES: The second, third, and fourth lines of the following passage from an untitled sonnet published in 1807 by William Wordsworth exemplify enjambement, whereas the first line is end-stopped:
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility.
Amiri Baraka used enjambement in his poem “An Agony. As Now” (1964), the first stanza of which follows:
I am inside someone
who hates me. I look
out from his eyes. Smell
what fouled tunes come in
to his breath. Love his