Writing Poetry: End-Stops, Enjambment, and Caesura - Page 3

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Thread: Writing Poetry: End-Stops, Enjambment, and Caesura

  1. #21

    In prose an interjection is set off by commas or dashes. Maybe even a colon to separate the sentence in a different way. Or the use of a period and the beginning of a new sentence to introduce the new thought. Your second example: sounds like she is gulping at her own skin. That she gasps her skin. It is more like a misplaced moderator as a fragment. It doesn't read too smoothly at all. Which is the opposite reason enjambment is used in poetry. Enjambment in poetry is used to smooth out the flow because of the bump that is already there due to the line break.

    If you want such abrupt things in prose try an exclamation point. It will create the abruptness and then you can continue the flow of the next sentences or paragraph. What might work better in prose is actual white space on the page. It would cause the break in the written context of presentation. It could make story lines very long however. But the mixture of poetry and prose is not new at all, and that could be done as well. Then there is poetic prose as well. A good example would be Melville's "angels and sharks scene" on the deck with the crewmen and the cook. It's a very long metaphor about good and evil. But it is extremely poetic. And it flows as text in the story line of the novel.

    a poet friend
    RH Peat

  2. #22
    From Strunk and White's Elements of Style:

    Use a dash to set off an abrupt break or interruption and to announce a long appositive or summary. A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses . . . Use a dash only when a more common mark of punctuation seems inadequate.
    I have the fourth edition copyrighted in 2000.

    We now return to talking about enjambment.

    RHPeat and Clark, have either of you heard of end-stopped lines being referred to as "cloture?" The only reference I have of it is in Lewis Turco's "The Book of Forms." The definition for cloture that I found does not reference poetry at all and states that cloture is "a procedure of ending a debate and taking a vote."

  3. #23

    That's a new one on me. I will look through some of my reference texts and see what I can find. And you say you found that in Turco. I'll check my Turco It might be a different addition than yours.

    OK, this is how I read it: Cloture is the full stop at the end of a couplet or stanza unit. So it concerns a group of lines like a stanza that ends all the complexities of a thought in the last line. So if it is not the end of the stanza or the poem, what continues will be something new within the poem's overall thought. There are certain places in a poem where this definitely tend to happen.

    1. At the end of the opening to the poem/ body of thought in the poem. Why so?
    2. Because it is the beginning of the turning point/ shift in the poem, or climax. Which should show a new thought introduced into the poem.
    3. The beginning of the closure, which is a thought that combines the turn or shift and opening into a completely new thought as a revelation of sorts to show a change of some kind in the overall theme of the poem.
    4. And at the end of the closure — ending the poem. That too is an abrupt end to all the thoughts of the poem.

    Those places would definitely bring about cloture.
    What it affects is the literary form. Which is pretty basic in poetry as 3 parts — opening, turning point, & closure. You have to have these parts to maintain a reader and draw them into the text of the poem. It's similar to the novel which has parts too. But they are far more complicated, with far more parts to it. So this is a term for these abrupt places within the poem where the text tends to have full stops.

    So the last line of a group of lines or couplet will end-stop the thought and forward progression in the poem for some reason in the overall presentation.

    a poet friend
    RH Peat

    p.s. Thanx for teaching me something new. This kind of Cloture is used in some forms; like the Ghuzal where each couple is suppose to be able to stand on its own as well as read with the complete poem. It is sometimes referred to as the string of pearls because the couples can stand on their own.


  4. #24
    A bit of fun. . . .

    What's that on the road ahead?

    What's that on the road ahead?

    What's that on the road ahead?

    What's that on the road ahead?

    What's that on the roadooooa head?

  5. #25
    In Judson Jerome's "Poet's Handbook" he defines Cloture as the opposite of enjambment. Basically saying the cloture resolves tension while enjambment heightens tension. By combining the two you can create different kinds of emotions due to how the enjambment is broken (which you have talked about) and then how Cloture resolves that emotional context through an abrupt ending — end-stopping the thoughts in a stanza.

    a poet friend
    RH Peat

  6. #26
    Ok, so it is more than just end-stopping lines--it's ending the thought of line of reason that goes with that group of lines and moving to the next (related) part of it.

    So in Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 (my favorite)

    That time of year thou mayst in me behold
    When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
    Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
    Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
    In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
    As after sunset fadeth in the west;
    Which by and by black night doth take away,
    Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
    In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
    That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
    As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
    Consumed with that which it was nourish'd by.
    This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
    To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.

    Cloture occurs at the end of line 12 as this is the start of his turn. This is true in all Shakespearean sonnets (and sonnets in general). I would say there's an argument for cloture at the end of lines four, six, eight, and ten. At the end of each of these lines he introduces or even returns to another comparison or idea. Though he speaks of old age and the approach of death with his tree metaphor the idea isn't actually mentioned until line seven.
    Last edited by Ariel; December 17th, 2016 at 01:44 AM.

  7. #27

    Yes that's correct: ending a line of thought. Also realize there is a thing called partial cloture.

    The clotures on the end of rhyme scheme would be considered partial clotures. Which is yet another term; it you read more about it. They have an abruptness to them too, but they really don't end the total thought about autumn as death here in this poem; while the couplet at the end of the poem introduces "Love" as a completely new thought. Which is the actual closure on the poem. That's a complete Cloture. There is another complete cloture just before this line:

    In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,

    this is the beginning of the turning point in the poem. It introduces fire into the poem as something internal. (that's a major shift in the poem). So just before this line is another full Cloture. Cloture comes with a full stop of the combined thoughts in a specific theme.

    This actually shows the literary form of the sonnet. This particular cloture is sometimes called the volta of the sonnet, where the shift in intent takes place in the sonnet's text.

    All sonnets have this break. In the Petrarchan sonnet you usually find the volta after the octet. Generally speaking most poems have a turn about 3/4th the way through the poem. That's where climax occurs/the volta/ the shift/the turning point. (All names for the same thing). I think if you understand literary form your poems will be far stronger. But remember there are no definite answers out there.

    The climax is just the apex of any form of writing that carries an intent in emotion, reasoning, or thought, etc. It is there to shift the reader's mind into another gear for new content and contextual understanding.

    a poet friend
    RH Peat

  8. #28

  9. #29

  10. #30
    Well, the dictionary definition I found holds some answer for me. Cloture in poetry is when an argument ends--whether with a rhyme scheme, thought, or metaphor. It occurs when there is a new turn to the poem.

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