[uf-new] I propose a new microformat for poems.

paul_wilkins at xtra.co.nz paul_wilkins at xtra.co.nz
Mon Oct 8 00:32:44 PDT 2007

From: Benjamin West <bewest at gmail.com>

> There are other groups interested in this.  It was recently brought up

> in a thread on the public-html list in the context of HTML5.


> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2007Oct/0058.html

> http://esw.w3.org/topic/HTML/PoeticSemantics


> Hope this helps.

Thank you Benjamin, that helps a lot.

I've been wanting to get rid of the break elements from poetry.
A previous post achieved that but at the expense of a lot of repeated class names, or as some call it, classitis.

The discussion of poetry semantics helped remind me of what the answer should be.

On the poetery semantics wiki, Olaf was proposing some HTML5 elements, POEM, STROPHE, LINE and H, but elements should be elemental, from which other more meaningful constructs are built.

Gregory was saying

    "why not a containing element that indicates a line of poetry, much as <LI> and </LI> indicate the beginning and end of a list item?"

XHTML is supposed to have an L element for marking up separate lines of text within a paragraph.
This idea already exists, in the OL and UL structures.

Tantek put together a presentation called "The Elements of Meaningful XHTML" where XHTML compounds are used to properly markup the content.

I don't know how he still feels about his presentation, but to me it covers some very important ideas.

A part of the presentation used OL structures to markup conversations between multiple people, and bibliographies. This works because the elements provide the semantics, while the styles are used to remove the line numbers from the list elements, to affect how it's presented.

With this in mind, a poem can be quite easily marked up without linebreaks or special elements.

ol.stanza { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; }
. . .
<div class="poem">
  <h1>The Lady of Shalott</h1>

  <ol class="stanza">

    <li>On either side the river lie</li>

    <li>Long fields of barley and of rye,</li>

    <li>That clothe the wold and meet the sky;</li>

    <li>And through the field the road run by</li>

    <li>To many-tower'd Camelot;</li>

    <li>And up and down the people go,</li>

    <li>Gazing where the lilies blow</li>

    <li>Round an island there below,</li>

    <li>The island of Shalott.</li>



Paul Wilkins

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