3

The insertion of poetry in a given prose text using the ambient verse introduces a distance between the first verse and the previous paragraph, as well as between the last verse and the following paragraph.

enter image description here

Is it possible to regulate these two gaps?

3

I leave to you setting the separation that suits you as the value of \topsep. Note that \partopsep is added when a blank line precedes verse, so you may want to set it instead or together with \topsep.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{xpatch}
\xpatchcmd\verse
  {\itemsep}
  {\topsep=0pt \partopsep=0pt \itemsep}
  {}{}

\begin{document}

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the
earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered
the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

\begin{verse}
  La vispa Teresa gridava sospesa: \\
  l'ho presa, l'ho presa, la vispa Teresa! \\
  Gridava sospesa: L'ho presa, l'ho presa, \\
  La vispa Teresa! Grida sospesa
\end{verse}

Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light. God
saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from
the darkness.

\end{document}

enter image description here

  • Thanks @egreg. I noticed that this method does not works with documentclass memoir, and I can't figure why... – Paolo Polesana Feb 25 '16 at 9:09
  • @PaoloPolesana Because memoir redefines verse? ;-) Since I cannot read minds (yet), I went with a standard class. For memoir, load xpatch instead of etoolbox and use \xpatchcmd instead of \patchcmd. – egreg Feb 25 '16 at 9:46
  • Perfect! I did not mention memoir just for ignorance: a detail I thought unimportant . Thank you so much! – Paolo Polesana Feb 25 '16 at 10:29
1

You can define your own myverse environment which adjusts the vertical spacing above/below the verse:

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[paper=a5paper]{geometry}% Just for this example
\usepackage{mdframed,xkeyval}

\newlength{\mvskipabove}
\newlength{\mvskipbelow}
\makeatletter
\define@key{myverse}{skipabove}{\setlength{\mvskipabove}{#1}}
\define@key{myverse}{skipbelow}{\setlength{\mvskipbelow}{#1}}
\makeatother
\newenvironment{myverse}[1][]
  {\setkeys{myverse}{skipabove=0pt,skipbelow=0pt,#1}%
   \begin{mdframed}[
     leftmargin=1.5em,
     linewidth=0pt,
     innertopmargin=\mvskipabove,
     innerbottommargin=\mvskipbelow]}
  {\end{mdframed}}

\begin{document}

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the
earth, the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered
the abyss, while a mighty wind swept over the waters.

\begin{verse}
  La vispa Teresa gridava sospesa: \\
  l'ho presa, l'ho presa, la vispa Teresa! \\
  Gridava sospesa: L'ho presa, l'ho presa, \\
  La vispa Teresa! Grida sospesa
\end{verse}

Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light. God
saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from
the darkness.

\begin{myverse}
  La vispa Teresa gridava sospesa: \\
  l'ho presa, l'ho presa, la vispa Teresa! \\
  Gridava sospesa: L'ho presa, l'ho presa, \\
  La vispa Teresa! Grida sospesa
\end{myverse}

Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light. God
saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from
the darkness.

\begin{myverse}[skipabove=5\baselineskip,skipbelow=1pt]
  La vispa Teresa gridava sospesa: \\
  l'ho presa, l'ho presa, la vispa Teresa! \\
  Gridava sospesa: L'ho presa, l'ho presa, \\
  La vispa Teresa! Grida sospesa
\end{myverse}

Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light. God
saw how good the light was. God then separated the light from
the darkness.

\end{document}

The above myverse environment is actually an mdframed environment, with some default options to mimic a regular verse. However, you can add to these defaults, or specify them as optional arguments to myverse in the form of skipabove=<len> and/or skipbelow=<len>, where <len> is some length.

  • Thanks @Werner, this method works with memoir class also. I just noticed that if you put skipabove and skipbelow to zero, you obtain a minimum skip between the upper and lower paragraph and the verses. Curiously the gap below is slightly greater than the skip below. Thus, the gaps are under control, unless a minimum default. – Paolo Polesana Feb 25 '16 at 9:14

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