This blog is to inform members who have never been able to figure out how to center and use italics or bold print when submitting their poetry. I hope it will be useful. The reason I want to post this is because I am doing a contest right now asking for centered poetry and also I noticed another judge or two asking the same. Furthermore, I believe there are quite a few poets who do not understand how to do these things. It took me a long while to learn it myself. When I started asking about it, someone finally told me the secret. The answer was right under my nose; however, I was confused by other little things that prevented me for some time from trying it out.
A poet here at Soup has recently asked me how he may center his poem. I told him that all he had to do was to check “Poem Text” feature right above the box where we post our poems. Even then, he had many questions about it. I think it is because he and I and others at Soup are from a generation that did not grow up with computers. So we are afraid to try things that seem so easy for others. This is the reason I suggested in my previous blog that Soup should have a tutorial for people. Many of us are older poets who are not savvy like the new young poets. Also, some young poets here do not know how to do this kind of thing either. So this is for old and young alike.
If following the instructions by “Poem Text” still perplexes you, here is a list of questions I was given by my friend who wanted to know how to center poems and use italics. I went through his list answering “yes” or “no” to each question. If you STILL can't get it, ask me for my EMAIL in Soupmail. I cannot give proper instructions either here or in a Soupmail because using the actual Poem text symbols anywhere on site except inside that submission box will cause an ERROR page to come up. So it's impossible to spell it out for you in a blog.
He said: I want to know if I should:
1. Put the "center" tag at the beginning and end of my poem. The end tag has a / in it.- Yes
2. Then click update. - Yes
3 After I click update will the tags disappear? - Of course
4. If not will I have to remove them them and click update again? - No
5. Do I put any spaces between the end tag? - NO
6. Do I just type in the tags myself? - Yes
7. Does the centering take effect immediately after I click update? - Yes
8. Do I put the beginning tag close to the margin on the left.? -- Put it Immediately in front of your poem even though the poem will be over more to the right . It will look strange, but it will all center out.
9. Are there any periods before or after the tags ?-- No
10. Is there a space between the first tag and the first letter and last tag and last letter? - No
One last thing. Let's say you want to do BOTH italics AND centering. You don't put any spaces between them. You just do the symbols for both items at the front and the end of the poem. If you want EVERYTHING centered, even your name, and date, etc, then put the symbol at the end of your last line, whatever it is inside the text. Hope this helps!!!