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The proper way to write poetry

Although I do not do so myself, most if not much of the way poetry is written (and printed) is with each line beginning with a capital letter.
At first (when I began writing poetry) I thought this just to be lazy word processing BUT it does seem to have been the 'correct' way to display poetry for a long time.

What are your views?
Why is it so?
Isn't it just bad English?

Discuss please!
11 days ago
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I tend to use the line breaks to dictate the way I want the sentences to be read... and capitalise each new sentence. So, each 'line' might not start with a capital but each sentence, should.

I'm not quite sure how I got into this rhythm - probably by accident.
11 days ago
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I would disagree, Graham. In my experience the majority of published poetry does not begin with a capital letter at the start of each line, unless basic grammar demands it. Rigid capitalisation of each line tends to look a little outdated these days. Although, I agree, Windows seems to prefer it! And, in the end, there is no rule, one way or the other.
11 days ago
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As Holmes used to exclaim: Capital Watson. That says it all - or maybe not. Sadly we are all hampered by rules more than we are freed up by them I believe. Though I think capitals can seem like a fencing with too many posts. And this is another post. I'll get my coat.
11 days ago
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Love those last two sentences Ray!
11 days ago
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I've just chosen 2 examples at random.

First. In my book, 12 French poets 1820-1900, they all appear to use capitals at the beginning of every line.

Second. In Lorca's Selected Poems, Capitals are confined to the start of sentences eg:
The wail of the guitar /
begins.
The goblets of dawn /
are broken.
ie. 2 sentences broken into 4 lines.
11 days ago
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On reflection, I must admit that the way I write poetry - ie. capitals, punctuation etc, is partly due to force of habit, and partly due for example, to how word processing works.
I don't know what's "right" or "wrong".
11 days ago
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The other issue that exercises my poetry brain is 'to edit or not to edit'?

Once a poem has been placed on WOL (or any other website) should it be further edited or not?
9 days ago
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Another good talking point, Graham. WH Auden once said that he agreed with the French poet Paul Valery that 'a poem is never finished, only abandoned'. Write Out Loud gives us the facility to edit our own poems. Why not make use of it, if you feel the need to? I did so just recently, removing the first five lines of what was already quite a short poem! Mind you, the original is still on the site. 'The wind in the dark', if you're wondering ...
9 days ago
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I must admit in my earlier 'idealistic' poetry writing days I proudly used to announce that once launched on an audience, I would never change a piece. Not so now!

I find myself tinkering with my work all the time. For example a first posting on WOL may well end up being a totally different write on my personal website.

Poems are like children, they keep growing if you feed them!
9 days ago
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I tend to do a lot of redrafting before I type up a poem and post it, but not very much after that. But I agree, there is no reason not to use the edit facility. And I have changed one or two posted poems before putting them in a book.
9 days ago
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When I write poetry, it usually involves something emotional that I am feeling, & the feeling intensifies as I write the poem. Later, when I re-read the poem with a "cool" mind (the emotion has diminished), I try to see if the poem captures what I was trying to convey, & I sometimes make minor edits for clarity. So, love the edit option on WOL.
8 days ago
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