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In my literature book from school, some poems have capital letters at the beginning of every line. Now, everyone has been telling me that this incorrect. Is it, or is that just something some people dislike? Is the book I got from my teachers incorrect?
08-26-2009, 01:54 AM
I think that capital letters at the beginning of each line is somewhat true. I think you should only use a lower case if it is still part of that sentence. I'm not really sure, but I think that's how it is.
08-26-2009, 02:05 AM
Capitalizing the beginning of each line is an older convention. It's not necessarily wrong, but it can come across as a bit outdated if you write that way now. I'm not totally convinced that it's wrong, it's kind of a transition phase now in terms of the convention.
08-26-2009, 02:55 AM
In a way, its an opinion... Decide for yourself, but Starry is right.
I like to put a capital letter at the beginning of every line, depending. So if someone "corrects" me on it, can I ignore it?
08-26-2009, 07:42 PM
Well, technically it is grammatically incorrect, but, its a style in poetry... You can decide yourself.
Typically you should only start with a capital letter if it's a new sentence in the poem, otherwise start the line with a lowercase.
But it's poetry, after all. If you think using caps on every line would benefit your poem's style or meaning, do it.
I really am not sure if it's wrong (grammatically incorrect or not), but maybe, just maybe, because the poetry is developing and changing, its rules are developing too... You now what I mean, maybe now it's better not to use a capital letter at the beginning of every sentence, maybe poets used to do that before but it changed now, I'm just saying maybe but I am not quite sure... Consider it as a hypothesis... :)
02-08-2010, 05:00 PM
It isn't wrong at all, just an outdated idea. Modern poets especially don't like to use all caps, but many of the most well-known and famous poets did. I'm studying to poets in English and they both vary whether they use it or not. One says on her website that she finds all caps more formal.
It's really up to you, whether you want to or not. It's not grammatically wrong - it's been used that way for centuries. It doesn't look right to us modern people because we're so used to thinking of poetry with lowercase. It's just that like with everything else poetry has changed and updated itself. :)
02-08-2010, 07:25 PM
I really am not sure if it's wrong (grammatically incorrect or not),but maybe,just maybe,because the poetry is developing and changing,its rules are developing too...You now what I mean,maybe know it's better not to use a capital letter at the beginning of every sentence,maybe poets used to do that before but it changed now,I'm just saying maybe but I am not quite sure...Consider it as a hypothesis... :)
Kind of like spaces between punctuation and words! I,personally,think it's becoming outdated.
02-08-2010, 08:02 PM
Does anyone still care about this?
Anyway, while it may be formal and conventional, I think you can use the beginning of your sentences as emphasis for certain lines. This is the reason I don't use capitals at the start of mine, unless I want each line to be read the exact same (which can be kind of destructive, I've found).
Basically, using capitals and punctuation can be a literary tool. If you capitalize each line because it's conventional, but for no real purpose, you're limiting your poem in in how it will be read (and written, obviously)
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