# Line numbers for poetry

So I'm trying to typeset T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow men" but it keeps thinking that the epigraphs and the section heading numbers are lines and I don't know how to fix it. Below is my code and my screenshot of the problem. Much help would be appreciated.

I wan to get the epigraph to appear like it does here https://allpoetry.com/the-hollow-men

and I want line numbering but not to include the roman numerals. Help please.

\documentclass[12pt,letterpaper]{article}
\usepackage{url,verse}

\newcommand{\attrib}[1]{%
\nopagebreak{\vspace{2ex}\raggedleft #1\par}}

\begin{document}

\poemtitle{The Hollow Men}

\begin{verse}[13em]
\poemlines{2}
\begin{altverse}
A penny for the Old Guy

\textbf{I}\\\\
We are the hollow men\\
We are the stuffed men\\
Leaning together\\
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!\\
Our dried voices, when\\
We whisper together\\
Are quiet and meaningless\\
As wind in dry grass\\
Or rats' feet over broken glass\\
In our dry cellar\\\\

Shape without form, shade without colour,\\
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;\\\\

Those who have crossed\\
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom\\
Remember us—if at all—not as lost\\
Violent souls, but only\\
As the hollow men\\
The stuffed men.\\\\

\textbf{II}\\

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams\\
In death's dream kingdom\\
These do not appear:\\
There, the eyes are\\
Sunlight on a broken column\\
There, is a tree swinging\\
And voices are\\
In the wind's singing\\
More distant and more solemn\\
Than a fading star.\\\\

Let me be no nearer\\
In death's dream kingdom\\
Let me also wear\\
Such deliberate disguises\\
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves\\
In a field\\
Behaving as the wind behaves\\
No nearer—\\\\

Not that final meeting\\
In the twilight kingdom\\\\

\textbf{III}\\

This is the dead land\\
This is cactus land\\
Here the stone images\\
Are raised, here they receive\\
The supplication of a dead man's hand\\
Under the twinkle of a fading star.\\

Is it like this\\
In death's other kingdom\\
Waking alone\\
At the hour when we are\\
Trembling with tenderness\\
Lips that would kiss\\
Form prayers to broken stone.\\\\

\textbf{IV}\\
The eyes are not here\\
There are no eyes here\\
In this valley of dying stars\\
In this hollow valley\\
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms\\

In this last of meeting places\\
We grope together\\
And avoid speech\\
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river\\

Sightless, unless\\
The eyes reappear\\
As the perpetual star\\
Multifoliate rose\\
Of death's twilight kingdom\\
The hope only\\
Of empty men.\\\\

\textbf{V}\\
Here we go round the prickly pear\\
Prickly pear prickly pear\\
Here we go round the prickly pear\\
At five o'clock in the morning.\\

Between the idea\\
And the reality\\
Between the motion\\
And the act\\
For Thine is the Kingdom\\

Between the conception\\
And the creation\\
Between the emotion\\
And the response\\
Life is very long\\

Between the desire\\
And the spasm\\
Between the potency\\
And the existence\\
Between the essence\\
And the descent\\
For Thine is the Kingdom\\

For Thine is\\
Life is\\
For Thine is the\\

This is the way the world ends\\
This is the way the world ends\\
This is the way the world ends\\
Not with a bang but a whimper.\\
\end{altverse}
\end{verse}
\attrib{T. S. Eliot (1888--1965)}

\end{document}


• Please edit your example so people can run it to see the issue and test answers. Sep 18 '21 at 16:47
• I tried your MWE and all sorts of errors were reported. Please try it yourself and change it until it is compilable. In any case, why are you using the letter class instead of the more usual article ...book ... memoir classes? Sep 18 '21 at 18:25
• I'm using letter because it's part of a larger letter that I'm writing to someone, can you just please help me get it to work. Sep 19 '21 at 2:00
• I have no idea how to do this can you please include the right way to format the code in XeLatEx and then I'll just copy paste it. Sep 19 '21 at 2:26
• Ok I made some major changes but same problems. Sep 19 '21 at 15:47

You were asked to make your MWE compilable. You did make some changes but your revised MWE is still not compilable. In your last comment you said "Ok that's all the changes I'm making...". As you are not inclined to fix obvious errors why should anyone be inclined to help you?

However

% poemprob.tex SE 615880

%\documentclass[12pt,letterpaper]{letter}
\documentclass[12pt,letterpaper]{article}
\usepackage{comment}

\usepackage{verse}
\newcommand{\attrib}[1]{%
\nopagebreak{\raggedleft\footnotesize #1\par}}
\renewcommand{\poemtitlefont}{\normalfont\large\itshape\centering}

\begin{document}
\begin{comment}
\begin{letter}{Joe Biden\\ 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW\\ Washington DC 20500 \medskip}

\opening{Dear Joe,}
Here's a poem for you  (not really sending a letter to Biden but I want to put that in as a placeholder so the code can run correctly)
\end{comment}

\poemlines{2}

\poemtitle{The Hollow Men}
\settowidth{\versewidth}{Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!}
\hspace*{1in}      A penny for the Old Guy
\begin{verse}[\versewidth]

\textbf{I}%\\!%\\

We are the hollow men\\
We are the stuffed men\\
Leaning together\\
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!\\
Our dried voices, when\\
We whisper together\\
Are quiet and meaningless\\
As wind in dry grass\\
Or rats' feet over broken glass\\
In our dry cellar\\!%\\

Shape without form, shade without colour,\\
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;\\%\\

Those who have crossed\\
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom\\
Remember us—if at all—not as lost\\
Violent souls, but only\\
As the hollow men\\
The stuffed men.\\!%\\

\end{verse}

\begin{verse}[\versewidth]

\textbf{II}%\\

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams\\
In death's dream kingdom\\
These do not appear:\\
There, the eyes are\\
Sunlight on a broken column\\
There, is a tree swinging\\
And voices are\\
In the wind's singing\\
More distant and more solemn\\
Than a fading star.\\%\\

\end{verse}
\end{document}


If you don't like it you are at perfect liberty to adjust it to your needs. Goodbye from a GOM.