WORDS OUT OF ORDER: INVERSION Another device of poetry is the changing of the usual order of words. This is called inversion, and is found mostly in the work of older classical poets. But it is sometimes used by modern writers for the sake of emphasis. Emily Dickinson was fond of arranging words outside of their familiar order. For example in "Chartless" she writes "Yet know I how the heather looks" and "Yet certain am I of the spot." Instead of saying "Yet I know" and "Yet I am certain" she reverses the usual order and shifts the emphasis to the more important words. In these lines she calls attention to the swiftness of her knowledge and the power of her certainty. Similarly in "Love in Jeopardy" there is a peculiar but logical inversion. Humbert Wolfe wrote:
This is one reason why a writer chooses poetry rather than prose. By a trick of a word or the turn of a phrase, he arrests the attention of the reader, and makes him see old things in a new light. Even the very shape of a poem says " Stop! Look! and Listen!"