# How to compose poetry with LaTeX

Well I have a very long poem (IX parts in 630 lines) and I want to format it with LaTeX. I know there is an environment called verse for this kind of task. But this is not a short verse, it a whole poem.

I saw in the CTAN few packages for this, but I'm not sure which would be the best choice. I only need to compose it well, in one language (Spanish), and that's all.

Does anyone knows what to use?

• I think you refer to CTAN: Topic verse. I cannot tell anything about strengths and weaknesses, but perhaps it is also just a matter of taste which one you want to use. Read manuals, test the packages with an excerpt of your looooooooong poem. – Speravir Apr 22 '14 at 3:19
• See also package dramatist and perhaps poemscol. – Speravir Apr 22 '14 at 3:44
• The following topic: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/110314/… might be also interesting for you. – Przemysław Scherwentke Apr 22 '14 at 4:27
• there are packages with more complete solutions if you need that but I'll' note that verse is not intended for single verses but for poems, with each paragraph (ie separated by blank line) being a verse and line breaking being marked with \\  so perhaps that is all you need. – David Carlisle Apr 22 '14 at 8:45
• Hi, are there news here? Can you write up an answer with an example of what you used in the end? Or even compare a few of those packages? Would be nice. And we get this off the unanswered list. Don't forget to ping me, so i can upvote. ;-) – Johannes_B Feb 9 '15 at 20:50

Well, answering to the request of Johannes_B to answer this question, I explain how I solved this in the end.

The first thing I did (after ask here) was look for packages available in the CTAN to work with poetry. Among them I reached poemscol which is the package I found and was consistent with what I needed.

However even after reading the documentation of the package had some doubts about how to use it. The main thing is that usually I work with KOMA Script instead the standard classes. So I got in touch with John Burt, the package author, who kindly responded to each and every one of my questions and even was kind enough to send me the .tex file from his first book of poetry which was a great gift and helped me much to dispel my doubts.

Since that did not require creating a critical edition, my doubts were relatively easy to solve.

Well, a kind of MWE, if it is useful for someone else, it would be something like this:

\documentclass[10pt,b5paper,twoside,titlepage]{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenx}
\usepackage[<language>]{babel}
%\usepackage[>option>]{csquotes} %If you regularly use it.
\usepackage{fancyhdr,makeidx,multicol}
\usepackage{keyval,ifthen,mparhack,lineno,poemscol} %The packages you need
\usepackage[letter,pdftex,cam,center]{crop}
\stanzaatbottom{*}
\nostanzaatbottom{\relax}
\raggedbottom
\clubpenalty=10000
\widowpenalty=10000
\renewcommand{\verseindent}{\hspace{-2em}}
\newcommand{\humongousfont}{\fontsize{36}{40}\selectfont}
\global\verselinenumbersfalse
\setprosemodulo{70}
\nolinenumbers %Since it was not a critical edition
\begin{document}
\begin{volumetitlepage}
\begin{center}
{\Large Title}
\end{center}
\end{volumetitlepage}

\newpage
\thispagestyle{empty}

\vspace*{2in}

\volumededication{To my Muse}
\end{volumetitlepage}

\begin{volumetitlepage}

\newpage

\poemtitle{Title of the book or poem}

\begin{poem}

\poemsectiontitle{I}

\begin{stanza}
\verseindent Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, \versline
sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt \verseline
ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
\end{stanza}

\being{stanza}

The poemscol package need to load the lineno package also and as you can see, the poem is an environment where each strophe or stanza is also an environment within you need to use \verseline command for break all the lines but the last one. You can add a \verseindent if you need it and much more.