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PoetrySoup :: Typography I - beto riginale's Blog

About beto riginale
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Ciao a tutti!
Welcome to my work and blog. Here are a few words about me.
        I was born and raised near Berkeley, California, and was introduced to the beatniks in North Beach by a high school friend in the late '50s. That is an event that influenced the rest of my life.
        I studied mathematics, philosophy, and German at university. By a quirk of fate, I became a computer scientist and website designer for most of my professional life. Since retirement, I have written poetry, essays, and translated German -> English and Spanish -> English. I write only free verse, haiku, and (some) prose poetry.

My favorite poets (in no particular order) :

Allen Ginsberg
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Gertrude Stein
E. E. Cummings
William Carlos Williams
T. S. Eliot
Jack Kerouac
Alejandra Pizarnik
Charles Bukowski

Thank you for stopping by to read my work and blog.

PoetrySoup :: Typography I

Blog Posted:12/6/2019 6:11:00 PM

When I joined PoetrySoup I was surprised by the limited typography available when submitting a poem. For me, typography is important since I use only limited punctuation in my work and depend upon the typography to give the reader hints about pause, emphasis, etc.. I then came across a poem and subsequent essay by Kevin Shaw regarding "white space."
        I have been designing web pages for about 25 years. The following provides some information about how to achieve basic typography on PoeterySoup.

WARNING: the information presented applies only to the poem entry field on the PoetrySoup  Submit Poem page. I use MacOS and do not have access to a Windows machine. I have tested all of this on all of the most common browsers available to me. If you have any problems, please notify me in the comments field below.


White Space: the unprinted area in a printed item such as the spacing between paragraphs or the margin areas.

Alignment: the horizontal alignment of text on the page, sometimes referred to as text justification. There are four basic types of text alignment: 

  • left aligned ( the text is aligned to the left margin.)

This is a left aligned line

  • right aligned ( the text is aligned to the right margin.) 

This is a right aligned line

  • Centered  (the text is centered on the page.) 

This is a centered line

  • Justified (the space between words is adjusted so the text occupies the entire line.)

This is a justified line. Note that it is aligned to the left and right margins. Justified text is normally used for longer text passages, Short lines are left justified.

In PoetrySoup, the default alignment for poetry entries is left alignment. It is possible to right-align text  only by inserting spaces at the beginning of a line. It is also possible to center a line or lines. Justified text is not possible.

To center text in the poem entry field,  precede the text to center with <center> and follow the line or lines with </center>. This typographical  information is called "tags." (more specifically "opening tag" and "closing tag.").

Two other tags are also allowed when entering poetry:  and  for  bold  text and   and   for  italics 

Note that tags are always in pairs and the closing tag always contains a slash (/). Be sure to check your work when you use typographical tags. 

The term "entities" is simply technospeak for "special characters."  These often come in handy if you want to include some words from a non-English language a la e. e. cummings who often included Greek. For instance, if you wanted to include α, β, γ (alpha, beta, gamma) in your poem, you could write: α β γ

Note that each entity begins with an ampersand "&" and ends with a semi-colon ";"

One entity that many people seem to want to use is the "tab" character. This is available as the entity and displays on the user's screen as 8 spaces which you can also use. I prefer the tab entity, but that is a matter of taste.

A complete list of all entities is available at here


Please Login to post a comment
Date: 12/8/2019 12:37:00 PM
Don't take us too seriously beto, we luv ya. But maybe typography 101 class, while informative, might be better directed to a different, perhaps much younger audience. Now your translation blogs were pretty cool
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Spock Avatar
Son of Spock
Date: 12/8/2019 4:16:00 PM
Beto is a cool sci-fi name. I may have to use it
Trestrail Avatar
Keith Trestrail
Date: 12/8/2019 3:24:00 PM
Don't Beto on it!
riginale Avatar
beto riginale
Date: 12/8/2019 12:42:00 PM
wait 'til you read parts II and III - Beto
Date: 12/6/2019 8:23:00 PM
Beto - I can explain. Tommy is a troll while Keith is Joker, and depending on who you ask, I am a little of everything. Going to the link you provided, I learned about the because symbol. I often use the therefore symbol at work, never thought it had a meaning inverted. I wish the keyboard shortcuts for such symbols worked in all media.
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carmack Avatar
rob carmack
Date: 12/8/2019 9:06:00 AM
Trestrail Avatar
Keith Trestrail
Date: 12/7/2019 6:07:00 PM
C'mon Rob, no one does folically challenged like me. That's my thing! Tommy's right, that little voodoo doll freaks me out. Now if I just had a little voodoo pin!
carmack Avatar
rob carmack
Date: 12/7/2019 2:55:00 PM
LOL Tommy, I liked that one. Changing my avatar would be like changing Gods, not going to happen.
Spock Avatar
Son of Spock
Date: 12/7/2019 11:55:00 AM
And you are... Chucky's folically challenged little brother? Time to update that avatar dude
carmack Avatar
rob carmack
Date: 12/7/2019 9:30:00 AM
I would say you are more like a Q than a Vulcan. *Keith and Beto are shaking their heads yes.
Spock Avatar
Son of Spock
Date: 12/6/2019 9:40:00 PM
I'm a Vulcan Robbie. Ferengi are trolls. Duh
Date: 12/6/2019 6:45:00 PM
It's the unseen anomalous entities I worry about...
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carmack Avatar
rob carmack
Date: 12/8/2019 9:09:00 AM
And of his blogs; Bazillion.
Trestrail Avatar
Keith Trestrail
Date: 12/7/2019 6:17:00 PM
Spock Avatar
Son of Spock
Date: 12/7/2019 2:06:00 PM
Hey Brian has a new blog gotta go...
carmack Avatar
rob carmack
Date: 12/7/2019 9:25:00 AM
I could never get into Black Sabbath, except for 'Changes'. I still can't believe that Ozzy has lived this long.
Trestrail Avatar
Keith Trestrail
Date: 12/6/2019 9:56:00 PM
That's so funny, Rob. You're a bit of a joker yourself. I was always more a Black Sabbath man, myself. I learnt most of my life lessons from Ozzie Osborne.
carmack Avatar
rob carmack
Date: 12/6/2019 8:41:00 PM
Tommy, some would say more like Nazareth's Hair of the Dog.
Spock Avatar
Son of Spock
Date: 12/6/2019 8:04:00 PM
Well... I am son of Spock after all
Trestrail Avatar
Keith Trestrail
Date: 12/6/2019 7:48:00 PM
I got it. Space geek!
Spock Avatar
Son of Spock
Date: 12/6/2019 6:49:00 PM
Lol it was just a sci-fi joke. Apparently not a very good one
riginale Avatar
beto riginale
Date: 12/6/2019 6:47:00 PM
can you explain more. -beto

My Past Blog Posts

Darkness Revisited :: decomposed
Date Posted: 1/17/2020 2:51:00 PM
On Poetry :: Punctuation
Date Posted: 12/28/2019 4:29:00 PM
Have Some Fun
Date Posted: 12/16/2019 1:02:00 PM
PoetrySoup :: Using a Word Processor
Date Posted: 12/14/2019 1:21:00 PM
PoetrySoup :: Typography II
Date Posted: 12/12/2019 4:57:00 PM
bow hows decrypted
Date Posted: 12/10/2019 4:41:00 PM
PoetrySoup :: Typography I
Date Posted: 12/6/2019 6:11:00 PM
On Poetry :: How I Translate
Date Posted: 11/22/2019 5:08:00 PM
On Poetry :: Translation
Date Posted: 11/20/2019 3:39:00 PM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
1/15/2020 Howard Street - 1948 Free verselife,social,
1/10/2020 Darkness Revisited - revision Coupletdark,hope,life,
1/5/2020 An Educated Man Free verseeducation,life,philosophy
1/3/2020 Darkness Revisited Free versedark,hope,life,
12/31/2019 b Free versei am,philosophy,
12/27/2019 Now Free verseintrospection,philosophy,
12/24/2019 A Question Free versedark,fear,hope,
12/20/2019 cogito ergo sum Free verseintrospection,philosophy,
12/17/2019 HAIKU :: 9 :: CHANGE Haikuallegory,change,
12/13/2019 Three O'clock in the Morning Free verseallegory,life,marriage,
12/8/2019 bow hows Shapelanguage,poetry,
12/7/2019 Unravelling Free verselanguage,philosophy,poetr
12/5/2019 Gazing Free verseallegory,life,
12/4/2019 Put your heart 'round me Free verseconflict,hope,peace,roman
12/2/2019 Fighting for Peace Free versepeace,war,
11/23/2019 Wuji :: Quietude Free versesymbolism,universe,
11/21/2019 The Box Free verseallegory,dark,death,depre
11/20/2019 The Infernal Serpent Free verseconflict,peace,
11/20/2019 HAIKU :: 8 :: SPARROWS Haikuimagery,nature,water,
11/19/2019 For Jack Free verseencouraging,freedom,hope,
11/19/2019 HAIKU :: 7 :: SUNRISE Haikuhope,imagery,peace,sun,
11/18/2019 Living into Peace Free verseanxiety,peace,philosophy,
11/18/2019 HAIKU :: 6 :: A TRILOGY Haikuencouraging,life,relation
11/17/2019 Night Silence Free verseallegory,dark,loneliness,
11/17/2019 HAIKU :: 5 :: COLORS Haikucolor,flower,hope,imagery
11/16/2019 HAIKU :: 4 :: SCARLET BIRD Haikuautumn,bird,imagery,life,
11/15/2019 HAIKU :: 3 :: LIFE Haikucolor,imagery,life,solitu
11/14/2019 HAIKU :: 2 :: AUTUMN Haikuimagery,nature,november,p
11/13/2019 HAIKU :: 1 :: GRIEF Haikudark,depression,grief,
11/9/2019 scream of silence Free verseallegory,dark,fear,night,
11/8/2019 the cave Free verseallegory,dark,hope,romanc
10/29/2019 Rain in Mexico Free verseallegory,color,hope,image
10/25/2019 Truth Free versedark,night,truth,
10/23/2019 The Blind Man Free versedark,political,satire,soc
10/15/2019 What to do Free versedark,peace,war,
10/11/2019 howl of despair Free versedark,depression,howl,loss

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