Punctuation in Poetry

Punctuation in Poetry: Tips for Effective Writing

Although students are required to follow strict rules, poets feel free to break any writing standards when it comes to the choice of words and punctuation. Therefore, do not think that the poem you read entails a number of grammar mistakes because writer simply follows personal punctuation rules. Therefore, while analyzing the poem, do not be surprised to see brand new punctuation rules designed by the author.

Most Common Types of Punctuation in Poetry

The use of punctuation in poetry serves a completely different purpose. Poets do not use punctuation to get the message across, but to make their poem sound more attractive and convincing. Poets feel free to utilize any writing techniques and punctuation standards they wish to effectively introduce their message of discussion.

  • Poets usually do not place comma where needed. They try to follow the original rhythm and sound regardless of the punctuation rules.
  • Every line does not begin with a capital letter in comparison to ordinary academic writing. Though in the past poets always adhered to this rule, modern poets either use capitalization in every line or not depending on the purpose of their writing.
  • Poets place punctuation marks even if it sounds hilarious in order to stir or suppress emotions regarding a particular topic.

4 Types of Punctuation in Poetry

Usually authors utilize 4 different types of punctuation. Do not get scared while reading their complex names because everything is pretty clear:

  • No punctuation – some poems do not entail any punctuation marks;
  • End stop – the end of line finishes with a punctuation mark;
  • Caesura – a reader may experience a pause in the middle of the line;
  • Enjambment – poet reflects the same idea in the following lines, which is the reason why there is no punctuation mark in the end of lines.

Direct Quotes in Writing

If you want to utilize a direct quote in your essay as proof of your claims, make sure that you use the same punctuation and copy words directly from the source. All capital letters have to remain the same as in original poem and do not change any punctuation marks while citing. All in-text citations have to be properly formatted according to the citation style you have to follow. For instance, “They, if they are afflicted by a melancholy and heaviness of mood” (Boccaccio 78). Please mind that punctuation in poetry have to be strictly followed while citing.

Please remember that usually professors have strict formatting rules to be followed. Therefore, either by quoting or paraphrasing information you have to use proper punctuation and give credit to the author.

Now you have basic assumption of how poets utilize punctuation and how punctuation in poetry is different from simply essay writing. Should you desire to create your own poems, you will have a chance to use or reject all modern writing norms since you are free to follow any norms you wish. However, if you simply analyze the poem, all original punctuation marks have to be followed.