I'm not a native English speaker and my education on English poetry is non-existent. I recently run into Shakespeare Sonnet 116 (reading the book The Elements of Eloquence) and I'm confused by the use of uppercase letters. The whole sonnet goes like this:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no; it is an ever-fixed mark, That looks on tempests, and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
and just on the second line you can see an uppercase letter that is neither a proper noun, nor the beginning of a sentence. How does this work? is the uppercase telling me anything? Is it arbitrary? Should I only use the periods to know when a sentence starts/ends?
I was reading this poem out loud without having read it before and I had trouble knowing when sentences start and end.
The pattern in this sonnet seems to be that every line starts with an uppercase later regardless of whether it's the beginning of a sentence or not, but I don't want to infer anything from it.