# outdent for dialogue poemscol

I'm trying to format a dialogue which is included in a prosaic translation. I am using Poemscol at the moment because it was the only format I could find which would conveniently let me number stanzas but am open to other suggestions. The approximate format that I am looking for is:

Alavaka:     How can the flood be crossed?
How overcrossed the sea?
How dukkha can be overcome?
How win to purity?                      183

The Buddha:  By faith the flood is overcrossed
By vigilence the sea
By effort dukkha's overcome
By wisdom, purity                       184

Etc.


Any Suggestions?

• Welcome to TeX.SE. It would be helpful if you composed a fully compilable MWE including \documentclass and the appropriate packages that sets up the problem. While solving problems can be fun, setting them up is not. Then, those trying to help can simply cut and paste your MWE and get started on solving the problem. – Peter Grill Nov 24 '14 at 5:56

One way would be to use the description environment from enumitem:

## Code:

\documentclass{article}
%\usepackage{showframe}
\usepackage{enumitem}

\newcommand*{\MyLabel}{}%
\newenvironment{MyDescription}[2][]{%
\edef\MyLabel{#1}%
\begin{description}[labelwidth=3.0cm, leftmargin=3.0cm, labelsep=0.0ex, font=\normalfont]
\item [#2:]
}{%
\hfill\MyLabel%
\end{description}%
}

\begin{document}
\begin{MyDescription}[183]{Alavaka}
How can the flood be crossed? \\
How overcrossed the sea?      \\
How dukkha can be overcome?   \\
How win to purity?
\end{MyDescription}
\begin{MyDescription}[184]{The Buddha}
By faith the flood is overcrossed \\
By vigilence the sea              \\
By wisdom, purity
\end{MyDescription}
\end{document}