"Runs in the family" by Amanda Palmer contains the following lyrics:

Strips in the city and shares all her best tricks with


Well, I'm well

The first word of the bridge, "Me?", is also the last word in the preceding verse. However, unlike with anadiplosis where the word used in both sentences is repeated, here the word is only used once.

This may be a form of enjambment, but it seems slightly different to the examples I've come across. In particular, the three lines are not strictly well formed in conjunction, as the "me" is used both as the start and end of a sentence depending on which pair of sentences it is considered to belong. This is contrary to many examples of enjambment in which each line follows the previous semantically.

Is this difference a meaningful distinction, and if so, does the technique have a name?

  • @Hactar: thanks, it seems to be the same question. This one was erroneously marked as a duplicate at some point, so that might be why it wasn't noticed earlier.
    – varkor
    Jan 9 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


To my knowledge, the most precise word for the device she is using is simply enjambment. Enjambment itself isn't concerned with how a particular word is used in a given line, only how the line structure is broken up.

From Wikipedia:

In poetry, enjambment is incomplete syntax at the end of a line; the meaning runs over from one poetic line to the next, without terminal punctuation.

That said, she is using enjambment to play with the ambiguity of which sentence the word belongs in. I don't think this is contrary to enjambment, but just one of the effects that it helps create in a poem. Perhaps more common uses are to achieve a certain meter, emphasize/de-emphasize rhymes or subvert expectations, but once again, those are just effects of enjambment, not the definition.

  • It certainly seems to be a form of enjambment, but that's not quite precise enough to capture the technique. (Indeed, most uses of enjambment are not demonstrations of this technique.)
    – varkor
    Aug 11, 2019 at 20:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.