em dashes in poetry?


When writing in verse—or any other form of poetry—is it ok to use the em dashes without a conjunction?


notice the third part of the sentence above doesnt have the conjunction after the second em dash. Is that ok in poetry? and is it only acceptable in poetry and unacceptable in prose?


example of poetry im writing:


Keen soldiers, numerous and brave!


Keen soldiers—numerous and brave!

which of these would be best?

1 answer


Em dashes are typically substitutes for commas, indicating a more emphatic break.


As Tolley says, you have a lot of license in poetry. However, to be consistent with how punctuation is generally read, I would follow the following guidance. Use dashes for emphatic breaks. But if you want a more subdued pause, use the ellipsis (three dots).

link comment answered Sep 04 '12 at 18:42 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.