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In the octavo document-class, there is (as in many others) a verse environment for the setting of poetry; however, breaking stanzas appears to be unimplemented: there's no difference in vertical spacing between line-breaks and paragraph-breaks. I can fix this with a hack: using \medskip between each stanza; but is there a way to enable proper automatic paragraph spacing in octavo's verse environment?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

octavo's definition of the verse environment is identical to that of article; however (and possibly due to changes in the underlying list environment), the length \parsep is set to 0pt. You may add a positive \parsep to the definition of verse.

\documentclass{octavo}

\makeatletter
\renewenvironment{verse}
    {\let\\=\@centercr
    \list{}{\itemsep \z@
    \parsep 4pt plus 2pt minus 1pt% NEW
    \itemindent -1.5em%
    \listparindent\itemindent
    \rightmargin \leftmargin
    \advance\leftmargin 1.5em}%
    \item[]}
    {\endlist}
\makeatother

\begin{document}

\begin{verse}
A\\
B

C\\
D
\end{verse}

\end{document}​
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