On this Page Filed elsewhere

Acrostic poems

Source: email
Date: 31 Oct 2003
File name: unknown
Vid: 105484
Page ref: 1
Keywords: LG, acrostic

Encountering an acrostic poem in which the first letter of each line is set off from the rest of its word in a column to itself, in order to emphasize the acrostic character of the poem, I decided to tag the first letter separately with HI (since it was clearly being highlighted by the columnar arrangement).

<DIV1 TYPE="acrostic poem">
<PB REF="1" MS="y">
<DIV2 TYPE="version" LANG="lat">
<L><HI>E</HI>rige depressam Victrix Academia cristam,</L>
<L><HI>D</HI>ii Tutelares rem Tibi nuper agunt:</L>
<L><HI>V</HI>enit lo extorris (praeclarior ostracismo)</L>
<L><HI>A</HI>nchora quassatâ deficiente rati:</L>
<L><HI>R</HI>egibus ante omnes, Patri, Natoque fidelis</L>
<L><HI>D</HI>extera; captivo deliciae populo:</L>
<L><HI>V</HI>irtutìsque supremus apex: hunc <HI>Anglia</HI> primùm</L>
<L><HI>S</HI>uscipit in gremium, jam capit <HI>Oxonium</HI>.</L>
<L><HI>H</HI>erculeus labor! at languens Ecclesia poscit,</L>
<L><HI>I</HI>nque Tuas gestit tradere sacra manus:</L>
<L><HI>D</HI>urius incumbens humeris onus utile Nobis</L>
<L><HI>E</HI>xpulsos revocas, restituisque Deos.</L>
<L><HI>C</HI>os Musis, cui terra minax, pelagusque pepercit</L>
<L><HI>A</HI>nnue, dans votis vela secunda meis:</L>
<L><HI>N</HI>utriat admissos (sit anus licèt) ubere pleno</L>
<L><HI>C</HI>asta parens olim, nunc tibi filiola.</L>
<L><HI>E</HI>numerans Mecaenates sis ìpse patronus</L>
<L><HI>L</HI>iber, ut excellens Bibliotheca crepat:</L>
<L><HI>L</HI>egìs-latores auge, jurisque peritos,</L>
<L><HI>A</HI>uthores nullo codìce deficiant:</L>
<L><HI>R</HI>edde antìqua, & erìs Nobìs Tu Stator Apollo;</L>
<L><HI>(J</HI>upiter hoc famam nomine nactus erat.)</L>
<L><HI>V</HI>i cum serus obìs post Te monumenta relinquens</L>
<L><HI>S</HI>umptibus hic cedant <HI>Seldeniana</HI> Tuis.</L>

Back to Top

Songs in drama

Source: email
Date: 2 Apr 2003
File name: n/a
Vid: n/a
Page ref: n/a
Keywords: LG, drama, song

Since this came up today twice, here is a reminder that songs appearing within plays are frequently most conveniently tagged as <LG TYPE="song"> (often containing further LGs for the stanzas of the song).

I refer to the common situation in which a player, or a group of players, or a chorus, or some unnamed set of players, breaks into song, usually in a set of stanzas set off from the rest of the play (e.g. by italics) and often supplied with a head:

<HEAD>Drinking Song</HEAD>

Sometimes the rest of the play is in prose, sometimes in verse. Sometimes the song is part of one character's speech, sometimes it stands apart.

The rationale (or my rationalization, as you prefer) for resorting by preference to LG is that:

(1) It is not *wrong*. LG can mean any kind of group of lines. Its default type for us is "stanza" but it can be used for other, preferably specified, groupings as well.

(2) In some situations, viz., mixed verse and prose, we've instructed the keyers to use LG loosely to mark the beginning of a section of verse, just as they use P to mark the beginning of a section of prose.

(3) <Q><TEXT><BODY><DIV1 TYPE="song"> will also work much of the time, we've used it and sometimes have little choice but to use it, but it suffers from the drawbacks that the songs are not usually genuine quotations at all (so we're abusing Q); and that Q cannot in any case appear directly within SP (should that be necessary).

Here's a simple one-stanza song within a speech:


<P>Pox! This is a pretty Musical business; but this will not make a man merry—I'll sing you a Song: Fill the Glasses first. Come on. When I sing Down, down, Then you must all drink—</P>

<LG TYPE="song">
<L><HI>I</HI> Love some body, I love no body,</L>
<L>Some body, no body dearly:</L>
<L>I love some body, <HI>&c.</HI></L>
<L>Be she black, or be she brown,</L>
<L>She's the best in all the Town,</L>
<L>So she keep her Belly down.</L>
<L>Down, down, down down:</L>
<L>There's no fault to be found,</L>
<L>So she keep her Belly down.</L>

<P>Hah! I think this is well, hah!</P>


And here is a multi-stanza song, not within a speech:

<LG TYPE="song">
<L>LOve thee till there shall be an end of matter,</L>
<L>So long, till Courtiers leave in Courts to flatter;</L>
<L>While empty Courtlings shall laugh, jeer, and jibe,</L>
<L>Or till an old lean Judge refuse a Bribe.</L> </LG> <LG>

Back to Top

LGs with indented text

Source: email
Date: 26 Jun 2002
File name: unknown
Vid: 62287
Keywords: LG

Query. The vendors have put LGs around sections of a poem beginning where a line is indented. There are no divisions within the text, and I would normally have expected just Ls with no LGs.

<L>And he sat smiling how his Dog did grinn.</L>
<L><PB N="2" REF="3">
So may'st thou perfect, by a lucky blow,</L>
<L>What all thy softest touches cannot do.</L>
<L>Paint then St. <HI>A—s</HI> full of soup and gold,</L>
<L>The new <HI>Courts</HI> pattern, Stallion of the old.</L>

Answer. We usually treat indented lines (indented so as to form, as it were, verse paragraphs) as slender justification for breaking a poem into LGs: if the taggers have used LGs, we leave them unless the indentation seems entirely random or accidental; on the other hand, if they have omitted them, we rarely trouble to put them in. In this case, the indented lines do seem significant: they are not random, but do mark breaks in the sense, so I'd leave them in and think no more on it.

Back to Top

Obsolete type attributes for LGs

Source: email
Date: 18 Jun 2002
File name: n/a
Vid: n/a
Page ref: n/a
Keywords: LG

Query. I have come across:

<LG TYPE="section">

What is an LG type? Is it ok to leave it in?

Answer. Yikes, I didn't know that we'd left that attribute in the dtd. Back in our American Verse days (here at DLPS), we used to require TYPEs on LGs much as we now require TYPEs on DIVs. Theoretically, they could be as simple as "stanza" or "verse paragraph" or as detailed as "8 line stanza in heroic couplets." In practice, most people just globally set the TYPE to = "stanza". Given this experience, and our reluctance to make EEBO more complicated that it needed to be, we dropped the TYPE requirement on LGs. But, though there are no instructions for the vendors to use it (and therefore they should not have) the attribute is still there in the dtd as an option.

As to whether to leave it or remove it, I suggest: look whether it is actually preserving any useful information (distinguishing between verses and refrains, for example). If not, I'd globally remove them to make the file more consistent with the others. Wait a minute, let me see whether it's been used in other files...

...ok, it has not been used, except once probably by mistake, in an early file (<LG TYPE="poem">).

Back to Top

Nested LGs for songs in drama

Source: email
Date: 15 Mar 2002
File name: n/a
Vid: n/a
Page ref: n/a
Keywords: LG, song, drama

Many plays descend (ascend?) occasionally into song. If the lyrics are not printed, "Song" usually appears as a STAGE direction, which is easy enough.

But if the lyrics *do* appear, it is usually difficult or impossible to tag them as a DIV: the are alien nuggest embedded in the a <DIV TYPE="scene"> and often within an SP as well. In that case, it is usually easiest to tag them as LGs, and to tag any stanzas belonging to the song as nested LGs.

<P>Shall I sing a merry jest for you, Gentlemen?</P>
<LG N="1"><HEAD>I.</HEAD>
<LG N="2"><HEAD>II.</HEAD>
<P>Wasn't that fine?</P></SP>

Back to Top

Short or Long Verse Lines?

Source: notes file
Date: 30 Sep 2002
File name: S698_5
Keywords: Verse Lines

Indented lines were treated as part of the line before, making verses four lines long rather than eight. This meant that when there was an extra word in brackets to be put at the end of the line, it was put at the end of the indented line.

eg.                      (Larks,
And then with Woodcocks and with
  she must rise up and dine:
And then with Woodcocks and with she must rise up and dine: Larks,
instead of
And then with Woodcocks and with Larks, she must rise up and dine:

I corrected these, but wasn't sure about putting additional <L>s in. The rhyme scheme indicates four line verses, and the commas at the end of the lines could be a caesura, rather than a real end of line. However, in the past I think we have put a new <l> whenever there has been a line break.

PFS: as discussed since in email, I think we've generally tried to take into account both rhyme scheme and capitalization (sometimes even recourse to a modern edition) in deciding whether to capture as short lines or as long lines with caesura. In this case, the capitalization and rhyme scheme support long lines and should probably override the existence of the physical line break as an indicator of metre. I would capture the line above ("And ... dine") as a single verse line (<L>). If this involves changing the existing tagging, note that often to a large extent the change can be automated, making use of the case of the first letter of the second half-line. E.g., replace "</L>\n<L>\([a-z]\) with " \1" There will of course be times when the case is too ambiguous, or the change too inconvenient (or both) to justify doing anything but leave in place what has been done.

Back to Top

Verse numbers in metrical psalms

Source: notes file
Date: 13 Oct 2004
File name: Wb2401
Keywords: Verse

Changed LG HEADs to MILESTONEs, then eliminated all psalm LGs

PFS: because, as in other metrical psalters we've dealt with, these numbers are not really stanza headings at all (or line numbers) but references to the numbering system of the Biblical psalms--i.e. 'verse' numbers in the chapter-and-verse system of Biblical reference


<DIV2 N="5" TYPE="psalme">
<HEAD>PSAL. V. To Cambridge old tune.</HEAD>
<DIV3 TYPE="argument">
<HEAD>1. Part. Argument.</HEAD>
<HEAD TYPE="sub">David prays for audience with confidence of successe: because, though Gods pure Na|ture hates odious and obstinate sinners, yet the Saints have free accesse to the throne of grace.</HEAD>
<LG N="1">
<L>O Lord unto my words give ear,</L>
<L>My meditation weigh:</L>
<LG N="2">
<L>My King my God my crying hear,</L>
<L>For I to thee will pray.</L>
</LG> ...


<DIV2 N="5" TYPE="psalm">
<OPENER>To Cambridge old tune.</OPENER>
<DIV3 N="1" TYPE="part">
<HEAD>1. Part.</HEAD>
<P>David prays for audience with confidence of successe: because, though Gods pure Na|ture hates odious and obstinate sinners, yet the Saints have free accesse to the throne of grace.</P>
<L>O Lord unto my words give ear,</L>
<L>My meditation weigh:</L>
<L><MILESTONE N="2" UNIT="verse">My King my God my crying hear,</L>
<L>For I to thee will pray.</L>

Back to Top

Lines entirely in HI

Source: notes file
Date: 15 Oct 2002
File name: Wd849
Keywords: HI

When a whole line is in italics this has not been marked with <HI> even when clearly meant to be distinguished from rest of poem. Only changed these within the proofing sample.

PFS: I've gone and dded HI tags to all lines entirely in italics (or, in song, lines entirely in roman. Any highlighted items within these lines were treated as nested HIs.

Back to Top

Short or long lines? (3)

Source: notes file
Date: 30 Sep 2004
File name: S20960
Keywords: verse lines

Changed the lines of verse from two lines to one where it seemed appropriate, e.g.

<L>Some hirde Vault roome, and brought in soone,</L>
<L>Coales and Wood:</L>
<L>To lay ouer, all the powder,</L>
<L>as it stood.</L>


<L>Some hirde Vault roome, and brought in soone, Coales and Wood:</L>
<L>To lay ouer, all the powder, as it stood.</L>

PFS: I have doubts about this. The metrical scheme is strange and choppy. It might almost better be regarded as three 2-beat lines rhyming aab ccb dde ffe:

Yet they seeke still,
moe Kings to kill,
which doth growe:
By their writing,
and inditing,
which teach so.

The physical layout is like this:

Yet they seeke still, moe Kings to kill,
which doth growe:
By their writing, and inditing,
which teach so.

which does serve to provide some identity for the first pair of two-beat rhyming lines over against the third. So I think I'd be inclined to leave the lineation as printed.

The second song has the more common problem of long lines with strong medial caesura, printed as two short lines. Half of these you left as short lines (I think inadvertently?), and converted the other half to long lines. I think I'd probably be very slightly inclined to leave it in short lines, since that at least honours what is in the print, and does seem to indicate the caesura accurately. Alternatively, capture in long lines but indicate the line break with <LB>.

MY prime of youthfull yeares,
is but a frost of cares,
My croppe of Corne is turned now,
into a field of tares.
The day is fled and gone,
yet saw I not the Sunne,
I seeme to liue, yea liue I doe,
and yet my life is done.

I think our tendency lately has been to leave in short lines, since it is at least arguably the most correct way, and is certainly easier than converting to the long ones.

In the third poem (which poses the same short/long line questions), you captured the initial stanza as an epigraph/q, which is fair enough, since it is 'quoted' from the song that follows. I tried a slighly more neutral approach by capturing it as an <LG TYPE="refrain">, which forced the rest of the song into an LG too. Like this:

<LG TYPE="refrain">
<L>Let men and Angels witnesse beare,
of our vnfained ioy:</L>
<L>That we expresse with heart and tongue,
for our good King this day.</L>

<LG TYPE="song">
<HEAD>The Ditty or Song.</HEAD>

<L>GReat <HI>Brittaine</HI> pleasant <HI>Paradice,</HI>
prayse thou the Lord with me:</L>
<L>And thanke him for his benefits,
That he bestowes on thee.</L>

Back to Top