(This is not about Japanese characters.)
I'm interested in typesetting a translation of a classical Japanese waka poetry collection. This means a large number of very short poems, all with prose prefaces. I've looked into the poemscol, verse, and poetry packages but I'm having trouble deciding if any of these actually have the specific functionality that I need.
Each poem has four parts:
- A prefatory editorial comment by me
- The prose preface to the poem and the author (these are part of the original collection and need to be clearly differentiated from #1. In Word etc. I would indent this part)
- The poem itself, which should be 5 lines set in two columns -- one with the romanized Japanese and one with the translation. The poem number should appear in the margin here. (I usually indent this one level further than #2, but that's not necessary)
- A footnote, with no mark in the text, that gives additional notes about poetic devices and cultural references that can't be done in the translation itself.
The parts I'm least sure about are differentiating 1 and 2, and doing the two columns for 3. The poem numbers will not change, and the poems will always be 5 short lines, so some amount of hard coding there should be acceptable. I've done some searching and I see various tricks to get the two columns working.
Is there anyone familiar with these packages who has some advice? I'm going to try playing around with them today but the packages seem geared towards Western poetry and don't necessarily allow for some of the peculiarities of the Japanese collections.