Another Blast from the past…that may also shed some light into the creative (insert adjective here, madness maybe?) of my mind.
I understand completely, I really do…well, as much as I am able to empathize over a situation, or rather a conundrum, I have unwittingly created, but I do understand…completely.
My high school English teacher used to nearly pull his hair out (what he had, anyway), over my persistent use of what he termed Random Capitalizations in my writing, and, try though I might, I could never quite make him understand that the capitals were anything but random. I’ve always used them when writing poetry; it’s a mechanism I employ without being entirely aware of it, really, since I’ve utilized it for so long now (er, I mean, for a few years now…, yeah, that sounds much better!)
A-hem,… yet many of you have raised the same questions, more or less, as my English teacher had so many..er, those few years ago, so I thought it might be vastly appreciated (or at least helpful) for me to give a brief explanation. (yes, believe it or not, I am entirely capable of being brief…since brevity is the soul of wit.) (Oh, threw some Shakespeare at you there without forewarning.) (no apology offered though since its Shakespeare, after all. )
Consider the following verse:
When ‘last the light escapes night drear,
‘Tis then morn’ stands upon the mountain
And jocund day waits, tiptoe, for intent;
While promise ‘pends upon the balance.
That is the first verse of the very first poem I posted on BnV. (honestly, go ahead, check it out, I’ll wait. ..We’ll all wait.) Nothing too out of the ordinary about that verse, really; no Random Capitalizations there. (since I took them all out for the purposes of this explanation) Ok..now…look at it again. (do bear with me, you will understand in a moment, I promise!)
When ‘last the Light Escapes night drear,
Tis then Morn’ Stands upon the Mountain,
And Jocund Day Waits, tiptoe, for Intent;
While Promise ‘pends upon the Balance.
See anything different there? Of course you do! (a lot of Random Capitalizations, you might say) yet if you look more closely at the individual words, you might, perchance, stumble across the method to my (seeming) madness. (or at least, yet another of my idiosyncrasies) (which we all know very well how much you love, so do wipe that perplexed look from your face). Though it may seem haphazard, in fact, there is nothing random about the capitalizations at all. And here’s why.
Each word that bears a capital letter signifies, in some manner or another, the following: It is either a positive (rather than a negative) word in relation to the poem; it denotes a positive, optimistic or constructive action; or it is in some other manner a word that bears (for all intents and purposes) a brightness, lightness, or hopefulness towards the rest of the poem. The capital is meant to put emphasis upon the word it is highlighting, or it is, in some other manner a significant word. Conversely, if the word does not have a capital letter, generally it is merely a word holding the rest of the structure together or it is, in some manner, a negative connotation.
Now, I will confess, sometimes I do get carried away, (imagine that!) and I do randomly capitalize, which, understandably, will throw many of you into the depths of spiraling perplexity; however, I do try to clean those up before I post (hopefully!) and for those that I miss, I do most emphatically apologize!
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. (someone brilliant said that, though just whom …or is it who…I am drawing a blank upon at the moment.) Nevertheless, as with all things, there is also an opposite that is true for my Capitalizing. (sorry) Yet this underlying principle follows the same logic, only in reverse (If that makes any sense at all.)
For Example, in the following verse (from my poem Losing Game), the poem is a “dark” poem, whose subject and body are sadness, despair, and grief, so the capitals are used to accentuate the “dark or negative” words.
Shackle me in a Prison of my making,
Torn and Tempted, at the point of Breaking.
Lying in the Dark pools of the Lost,
Drinking in Delirium, no matter the Cost.
Hopefully, it still makes sense to you, as I likewise hope this admittedly longer than intended, not entirely brief, (though potentially still witty) explanation shall shed some light (or perhaps I should say Light) upon what might otherwise be viewed as a Capital Offense.
Wonderful Image found at: sd.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk