21 March 2018
Of course every day is poetry day for romantics. However those of us working in the digital content production trenches need a "special day"... and to be ordered to focus on poetry!
Of course every day is poetry day for romantics. However those of us working in the digital content production trenches need a "special day"... and ordered to focus on poetry!
Faber & Faber is the largest poetry (and drama) publisher in the world. We are fortunate to have been working with them for a decade or so on drama and poetry, print and eBook production.
The editorial staff at Faber patiently taught us everything about the complexities of poetry presentation and print production. We sat at the feet of the poetry production masters. and learned the lessons.
There are many types of poetry that require different presentation methods and techniques. When producing poetry for print or eBooks it needs to be tagged correctly because of the "insane" (meant in the most polite way) requirements for explicit author (poet) presentation demands. There are layout presentation conventions with poetry which are effectively reading instructions from the author.
‘Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people.’
Poetry production is not so much typography as it is expressive presentation. The relationship between lines, line alignment, stanza, stanza alignment and the page are all parts of poetry construction, reading and interpretation. Even simple poetry has these challenges and that is not even considering the blank-verse, free-verse and other poetry modes.
GK is famously remembered to have said, "The reason for FX is to not make digital content production mistakes; and to prevent mistakes from not being easily corrected. We need to digitize once, and use forever."
Genius from the past!
The presentation is relatively simple verse but demonstrates IGP:FoundationXHTML tagging and styling in EPUB3 and Print.
Wine, Water and Song. Download the EPUB 3 Here.
Wine, Water and Song. Download the print PDF Here.
In this modern world as we look back on the poetry of yore there are big brains that absorb and annotate poetry to reveal the wonders in the words and their mystical relationship with the rhyme, significance and reason of those words working in mystical harmony.
That needs annotations!
Poetry annotations can be note references, footnotes, linenotes and commentary. While "notes" are by design positioned out of the text, poetry can have canto, stanza and body notes and footnotes. It can be simple... or epic; just to keep us on our toes.
'Publishing a volume of verse is like dropping a rose-petal down the Grand Canyon and waiting for the echo.'
As wonderful as the emotional and intellectual aspects of poetry are, we the workers have to get it onto paper.... and into weird digital reading systems. Fortunately IGP:FoundationXHTML is up to the job.
You can see our poetry tagging patterns here. These did not mystically appear.
You will notice the tagging patterns are poetically expressive with explict nested expressions representing the ambiguity of poetic structure. It's a marvel to behold!
On this World Poetry day a simple poetic tribute to IGP:FoundationXHTML and those who worked on the structures and semantics is in order. FX is now 12 years old, still holding up and setting the digital content tagging standard for the entire Universe.
The Development of IGP:FoundationXHTML (FX)
It took blood, sweat and tears
As it grew over the years;
While staff sat round on chairs
Hiding... their internal fears.
Not wanting to be mocked by their peers
(While thinking about private affairs
As they planned the purchase of wares)
And waited for Friday night beers.
Raising glasses with half-hearted "Cheers"
they were anywhere...
But knowing they're on new frontiers
Please enjoy the EPUB and PDF and have a poetic day.
Article by Govind Satpute and Richard Pipe