#255 add a poem element

DocBook (176)

There are times when an author may want to add a small poem into a document. This is more applicable to applying DocBook to markup novels, or collections of poetry, but is also applicable to technical documentation as well (if the author wants to add a poem to their document).

In the current markup, there is the para element which usually renders like the HTML p element (i.e. with a blank line below the para text). There is also no way (that I can see looking at the DocBook 5 reference) of making para elements not have a blank line below them, or structuring para elements beyond the book/part/chapter/section/blockquote chunks so that you can group related para elements.

I propose a poem element that will mark the content below it as being part of a poem, limerick or similar content. For example:

<para>This is a simple</para>
<para>DocBook poem example</para>

This is similar to the HTML markup:

<p class="poem">
<div>This is a simple</div>
<div>DocBook poem example</div>

NOTE that the para elements here are rendered using div not p, as the lines of a poem do not have a blank line below them unless the line is at the end of a verse.

For poems that consist of more than one verse, the section element can be used to break it up:

<para>verse 1</para>
<para>verse 2</para>

You can also specify optional title and author elements for adding that information to the poem:

<title>The Raven</title>
<othername role="mi">Allen</othername>


  • Norman Walsh

    Norman Walsh - 2009-01-21
    • status: open --> closed-rejected
  • Norman Walsh

    Norman Walsh - 2009-01-21

    The DocBook TC considered this request but decided that it was outside the scope of core, technical documentation. Please consider using the Publishers schema that Scott pointed to (or, if you really do need a poem in your technical documentation, copy that definition into your local customization).


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