A note on poetry and indents

In my former job, I was an editor. I created a lot of macros in Word to process manuscripts more quickly. Where is this going, you might ask? Well, I had a “Eureka!” moment last night, when I was thinking about how to indent poetry.

If you look at my previous post/poem, you will notice that I “indented” it. It’s really quite easy, if you have a white background. (Calen of Impromptu Promptlings – I hope you can do the same, but with yellow, since you have a yellow background.)

So here’s a stanza of my poem, as first published.

The grind –
day after day,
resume after resume,
I submit;
yet no one is interested.
And at the precipice I stand.

I wanted to insert indents, but as you know, WordPress doesn’t allow you to insert an indent with spaces.

So I did this:

The grind –
—– day after day,
—– resume after resume,
—– I submit;
yet no one is interested.
And at the precipice I stand.

The dashes are really hyphens. Again, if you look at my revised post, you cannot see the dashes. Why? I highlighted them and made them white by using the font color option (you may have to press “toolbar toggle” in the “new editor” version to get the option for font color).

Here are the dashes, in white:

The grind –
—– day after day,
—– resume after resume,
—– I submit;
yet no one is interested.
And at the precipice I stand.

If you highlight the lines with your cursor, you can still see that the hyphens are there, but they are not visible. Those blogs with a different background color might need to use that color (such as yellow) to “hide” the hyphens. And, you don’t need to use hyphens – you could use any character to “indent.”

I hope this helps y’all. If something is not clear, please let me know. My apologies if this is something that’s been re-hashed!

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14 thoughts on “A note on poetry and indents

    • I’m sorry you’re having a hard time of it! I hope things go better for you soon. It’s hard – I feel that we’re so “alone” in the job hunt, but that’s really not the case. It’s hard to remember that. 🙂

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      • I was writing in response to ALM Prompts, which was “precipice.” Our company was bought out in August, and we were told we’d be out of jobs by November (2014). I have been unable to find a job since then. Also, my husband doesn’t have a job, and the togetherness can be stifling at times. I like to write in solitude, which he doesn’t understand. I also need to find a job! LOL Finally, the snow is driving me crazy! As a runner, I cannot wait for it to go away. The snow piles are taller than me!

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  1. It’s trivially easy in html; the entities are   and   and  

    But I do believe wordpress uses utf-8? Hex 2001 thru 2006 should always be available (if somewhat tedious) to use?

    Some testing is in order. But there should be a more elegant solution.

    White-on-white text colors could be a big problem if you ever have to port/publish your poetry to some other platform.

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  2. Heh, the entities work (they disappeared from the comment, replaced by gaps, you’ll note)

    So “ ” (without quotes) for an enspace, and “ ” (no quotes) for an emspace, and “ ” (no quotes) for a thinspace.

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