4

I'm typesetting some poetry. The author wants the lines to be fully justified, even though that leaves funny spaces. Any ideas how to do this?

\documentclass[11pt, openany]{memoir}

\begin{document}

\poemtitle*{Fluid}
\settowidth{\versewidth}{So many years of tiny pills, then suddenly}

\begin{verse}[\versewidth]
Urinalysis easily read by eye. Endocrine\\
placeholder contraceptive. Medicated\\
racehorses often suffer catastrophic\\
breakdowns launching petite cisgendered\\
jockeys. Relating to, or denoting glands\\
that secrete hormones directly into the\\
blood. Our better selves test-strips for\\
alcohol levels in breast milk. To pass.\\
So many years of tiny pills, then suddenly\\
a plus sign soaked in piss. Their second\\
puberty and menopause at once. The beard\\
syrup so viscous in the needle.\\
\end{verse}

\end{document}
4

Is this about what you wanted?

Note that the longest line using proportional font is not the longest line in monospace.

demo

\documentclass[11pt, openany]{memoir}

\begin{document}

\poemtitle*{Fluid} 
\settowidth{\versewidth}{puberty and menopause at once. The beard}%
\hfil\begin{minipage}{\versewidth}
\let\\=\linebreak
\sloppy 
Urinalysis easily read by eye. Endocrine\\
placeholder contraceptive. Medicated\\
racehorses often suffer catastrophic\\
breakdowns launching petite cisgendered\\
jockeys. Relating to, or denoting glands\\
that secrete hormones directly into the\\
blood. Our better selves test-strips for\\
alcohol levels in breast milk. To pass.\\
So many years of tiny pills, then suddenly\\
a plus sign soaked in piss. Their second\\
puberty and menopause at once. The beard\\
syrup so viscous in the needle.\\
\end{minipage}

\end{document}

This environment solves the problem of determining the longest line.

\documentclass[11pt, openany]{memoir}
\usepackage{environ}

\NewEnviron{justverse}{\sbox0{\begin{tabular}{@{}l@{}}\BODY\end{tabular}}%
  \parindent=0pt
  \par
  \leftskip=\dimexpr 0.5\columnwidth-0.5\wd0\relax
  \rightskip=\leftskip
  \let\\=\linebreak
  \sloppy\BODY
\par}

\begin{document}

\poemtitle*{Fluid} 
\begin{justverse}
Urinalysis easily read by eye. Endocrine\\
placeholder contraceptive. Medicated\\
racehorses often suffer catastrophic\\
breakdowns launching petite cisgendered\\
jockeys. Relating to, or denoting glands\\
that secrete hormones directly into the\\
blood. Our better selves test-strips for\\
alcohol levels in breast milk. To pass.\\
So many years of tiny pills, then suddenly\\
a plus sign soaked in piss. Their second\\
puberty and menopause at once. The beard\\
syrup so viscous in the needle.\\
\end{justverse}

\end{document}
| improve this answer | |
3

A solution with tabulary package. No need of determining the longest line (as far as the line is no longer that the text width). I added also microtype with some extreme options to alleviate the "funny spaces" (change it accordingly to your tolerance to stretching and shrinking text, funny spaces and space rivers).

mwe

\documentclass{memoir}
\usepackage{tabulary}
\usepackage[stretch=120, shrink=120]{microtype}
\begin{document}
\poemtitle*{Tabulary poem}
\centering
\begin{tabulary}{\textwidth}{>{\parfillskip=0pt}J}
Urinalysis easily read by eye. Endocrine\\
placeholder contraceptive. Medicated\\
racehorses often suffer catastrophic\\
breakdowns launching petite cisgendered\\
jockeys. Relating to, or denoting glands\\
that secrete hormones directly into the\\
blood. Our better selves test-strips for\\
alcohol levels in breast milk. To pass.\\
So many years of tiny pills, then suddenly\\
a plus sign soaked in piss. Their second\\
puberty and menopause at once. The beard\\
syrup so viscous in the needle.\\
\end{tabulary}
\end{document}

BTW, this is a really odd format for a poem.

| improve this answer | |
  • I really like all the answers. But this one, using microtype, is my favorite. Can microtype be used like this just for the body of the poem? – A Feldman Jul 3 '16 at 11:41
  • @AFeldman You can use \microtypesetup to activate or deactivate some options in the body of the document. See texdoc microtype section 3.6, page 9. – Fran Jul 3 '16 at 16:00
2

One bloody simple-minded way is to use \parfillskip. E.g.,

\documentclass[11pt, openany]{memoir}

\begin{document}

\poemtitle*{Fluid}
\settowidth{\versewidth}{So many years of tiny pills, then suddenly}

\begin{verse}[\versewidth]
% here i'm just changing as little as possible (and keeping it in a group)
\let\\=\par
\setlength{\parskip}{0pt}
\setlength{\parfillskip}{0pt}
\frenchspacing % helps with punctuation when things are so widely spaced out

Urinalysis easily read by eye. Endocrine\\
placeholder contraceptive. Medicated\\
racehorses often suffer catastrophic\\
breakdowns launching petite cisgendered\\
jockeys. Relating to, or denoting glands\\
that secrete hormones directly into the\\
blood. Our better selves test-strips for\\
alcohol levels in breast milk. To pass.\\
So many years of tiny pills, then suddenly\\
a plus sign soaked in piss. Their second\\
puberty and menopause at once. The beard\\
syrup so viscous in the needle.\\
\end{verse}

\end{document}

If I were to do this for more than one poem, I'd create an environment for it....

| improve this answer | |
  • Nice. Elegant solution. And see related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/63762/… – A Feldman Jul 3 '16 at 11:09
  • @AFeldman -- Thanks (and for the link). I think your answer provides better spacing, but it obviously comes at the cost of requiring more markup. – jon Jul 3 '16 at 15:11
1

Here is one way of doing it:

![![enter image description here

\documentclass[11pt, openany]{memoir}
\usepackage{changepage}
\begin{document}

\poemtitle*{Fluid}


\let\V\hfill

 \begin{adjustwidth}{1in}{1in}
\noindent Urinalysis \V easily \V  read \V by \V  eye. \V Endocrine\\
 placeholder \V  contraceptive. \V  Medicated\\
racehorses \V often \V suffer \V catastrophic\\
breakdowns \V launching \V petite \V cisgendered\\
jockeys.\V Relating \V to, \V or \V denoting \V glands\\
that \V  secrete \V  hormones \V  directly \V  into \V  the\\
blood. \V  Our \V  better \V  selves \V  test-strips \V  for\\
alcohol \V  levels \V  in \V  breast \V  milk. \V  To \V pass.\\
So \V  many \V  years \V  of \V  tiny \V  pills, \V  then \V  suddenly\\
a \V  plus \V  sign \V  soaked \V  in \V piss. \V  Their \V  second\\
puberty \V  and \V  menopause \V  at \V  once. \V  The \V  beard\\
syrup \V  so \V  viscous \V  in \V  the \V  needle.\\

\end{adjustwidth}

\end{document}
| improve this answer | |

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