Indeterminate and narrative forms

poem
lg l indeterminate para

Longer narrative poems, and poems which are divided into long irregular sections, typically need only a minimal encoding of line groups. It is usually neither easy nor helpful to classify the groupings by length; even if seven- or eight-line groupings are present, it may not be useful to encode them as lg type="sestet" or lg type="octet". The simplest approach is to encode these with a more generic label such as lg type="indeterminate", indicating that the line groups do not fall into any particular category.

For long narrative poems, where the line groupings function like paragraphing in prose to indicate the structure of ideas, lg type="para" might be more appropriate. This would leave the indeterminate value for line groupings which really have no specific form and cannot usefully be categorized in any other way.

Note that lg type="indeterminate" or lg type="para" would be equally appropriate to indicate paragraphing in long poems consisting of heroic couplets. The decision as to whether or not to mark the couplets explicitly would depend on the kinds of analysis the project envisions: for instance, whether it is important to be able to analyse word proximity within a couplet. If the couplet structure is regular, it is probably possible to tag couplets automatically.