Verse Form for Poetry

Song, poem, or verse.


Formatting of Verse: No serious attempt has been made to encode the look or visual form of poetry. But in acknowledgment that many journals do publish poems and that poems are a little like tables in that formatting may be significant, a few basic hooks have been added to indicate line styling and indentation:

Related Elements

Poetry may also be tagged with the <preformat> element if spacing is critical; however, most poetry should be tagged with the <verse-group> element, which may not preserve the exact look-and-feel, but is more likely to be displayed in a proportional font.


Content Model

<!ELEMENT  verse-group  %verse-group-model;                          >

Expanded Content Model

(label?, title?, subtitle?, (verse-line | verse-group)+, (attrib | permissions)*)


This element may be contained in:

Example 1

<title>Buy or Lease?<break/>
Two Models for Scholarly Information<break/>
at the End (or the Beginning) of an Era</title>
<verse-line>Some say the world will end in fire,</verse-line>
<verse-line>Some say in ice.</verse-line>
<verse-line>From what I&rsquo;ve tasted of desire</verse-line>
<verse-line>I hold with those who favor fire.</verse-line>
<verse-line>But if it had to perish twice,</verse-line>
<verse-line>I think I know enough of hate</verse-line>
<verse-line>To say that for destruction ice</verse-line>
<verse-line>Is also great</verse-line>
<verse-line>And would suffice.</verse-line>
<attrib>&mdash;Robert Frost &ldquo;Fire and Ice&rdquo;</attrib>
<p>Within living memory, our use of print (static) information has been
governed by copyright law and the practices that have evolved around it.
Enter electronic information, where publishers deliver it with licenses and
new rules, a very different framework from copyright....</p>

Example 2

<title>A Cradle Song</title>
<verse-line>Sweet dreams, form a shade</verse-line>
<verse-line>O&rsquo;er my lovely infant&rsquo;s head;</verse-line>
<verse-line>Sweet dreams of pleasant streams</verse-line>
<verse-line>By happy, silent, moony beams.</verse-line>
<verse-line>Sweet sleep, with soft down</verse-line>
<verse-line>Weave thy brows an infant crown.</verse-line>
<verse-line>Sweep sleep, Angel mild,</verse-line>
<verse-line>Hover o&rsquo;er my happy child.</verse-line>
<attrib>William Blake</attrib>