Line breaks in verse [063]

Abstract

Line breaks within individual verse lines should be encoded with <lb>.

Discussion

For a line break within a metrical line (often called a turned line), the WWP uses <lb/>. We use the rend= attribute on <lb/> to indicate positioning and delimiters. Note that in both cases it may be easy to miss the fact that the continued line is in fact part of the previous verse line, particularly if the page is very crowded.

The encoding of the turned line falls into essentially two categories:

1. “unnatural”: these are cases where the full verse line doesn’t fit on a single typographical line, and where the line has been wrapped “unnaturally”--i.e. not just wrapped to the line below. There are two kinds of unnatural wrapping:

--where the continued part of the line has been artificially crowded onto the same typographical line as the verse line preceding or following it (see example 1);

--where it has been wrapped upward but without sharing the typographical line with any of the preceding verse line (see example 2), possibly because there is no room on the line below.

In these “unnatural” cases, the pos() keyword in the rend= attribute should be used to indicate the position of the continued part of the verse line. If the continued part is placed at the end of the previous line, it should be encoded as rend=“pos(up)”. If it is placed at the end of the succeeding line, it should be encoded as rend=“pos(down)”. In almost all cases like these, the alignment will be to the right margin (since the wrapped part of the line is being squeezed into the remaining space at the end of another line), so the alignment rendition will be “align(right)”. Finally, in these cases there is usually a delimiter of some sort, usually a parenthesis or square bracket, to separate the wrapped portion of the line from the other verse line with which it is sharing space. This delimiter should be encoded as pre() on the <lb/> element.

2. “natural”: where the continued part of the line is wrapped downward onto a new line by itself (see Example 3). If the continued part of the line is wrapped so that it is aligned with the left margin (possibly indented), it should be encoded as rend="align(left)" or rend=“align(left)indent(1)”. If it is wrapped so that it is aligned with the right margin, it should be encoded as rend=“align(right)”. Note that pos() is not used in this case at all; it has no meaning in this context.

Note also that this usage should be distinguished from <l part=>, which is used for part lines (i.e. lines which have been divided among more than one speaker) in drama and poetry, where the part= attribute indicates the initial, medial, or final part of the line, or (in more complex cases) where the parts of the line are linked to one another with next= and prev=.

Examples

Example 1.
A bird came down the walk,
He did not know I saw,
He bit an angleworm in
And ate the fellow raw. [half

The last two lines should be encoded:
<l>He bit an angleworm in <lb rend="pos(down)align(right)pre([)">half</l>
<l>And ate the fellow raw.</l>

Example 2.
A bird came down the walk,
He did not know I saw,
[half
He bit an angleworm in
And ate the fellow raw.

The last two lines should be encoded:
<l>He bit an angleworm in <lb rend="pos(up)align(right)pre([)">half</l>
<l>And ate the fellow raw.</l>

Example 3.
A bird came down the
walk,
He did not know I saw,

These lines should be encoded as
<l>A bird came down the <lb rend="align(left)indent(1)">walk</l>
<l>He did not know I saw,</l>

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