I have written a poem in which several lines begin with the word "of":

The men and women

Of the United States

Who sang and danced along

The music that echoed in the night

Were drunk with joy

The dancing twigs

Of the old trees that

Sang along with the birds

Disappeared into the night

And the men and women

Of the United States

Walked towards the sea

Is this okay, and why? And is there any situation where you would personally avoid it, and why?

  • 3
    It's poetry. You can basically do whatever you want.
    – Nai45
    Apr 27 at 0:02

In this case, that "of" doesn't start a verse, but a line. Breaking a line in the midst of a grammatical unit is so common that it has a name -- enjambment -- and so does the situation where the unit and lines match -- end-stop.

Of opening a verse (or sentence) with a preposition such as "of", we can only say that the grammatical structure is valid though unusual and may serve stylistic purposes even in prose.

  • 3
    Bonus points for the stylish demonstration! Apr 27 at 15:04

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