Many thanks for reporting your experiences with using the TEI for
marking up verse to TEI-L. I'm glad you found it useful, and I'll try to
respond briefly to the questions you asked.
>It is a problem to tag a poem in such a way that all forms of poetry
>analysis can be performed. A specific problem is that no tags are
>available for the encoding of assonance and alliteration.
There are no specific tags for these features, because it wasn't clear
to the work group how such things should be defined. However it is
possible to use the general purpose segmentation and alignment
mechanisms for this purpose and there is a short example showing how to
do it on page 266 of P3.
>the TEI verse workgroup advises the use of FSA, SPAN or NOTE to encode
>features for which no specific tags have been designed such as metaphor,
>themes, images, allusions, topoi, styles etc. If one wanted to tag all
>of the above things would get very complicated, since there are only
>three options available to encode far more than three features.
You are presumably referring here to the discussion at the end of the
chapter on Verse, which suggests the use of feature structures to cater
for more general structures of these kinds. As well as <span> and
<note>, one might mention the <interp> element: see pages 463-73 for
several examples; there is also a rather simpler example in the TEI Lite
Tutorial (TEI U5). The key point to note is that all of these are
*generic* solutions, which one can make more specific using attributes,
whose values are not essentially constrained by the TEI. This is how
"three options can be made to encode far more than three features"!
>A serious disadvantage of TEI is that it is not possible to use the
>metrical attributes with the DIV element. These attributes have to be
>used with the lower level LG element (in my case). Nevertheless, in the
This is not a disadvantage. IT IS AN ERROR! And noted as such on the
current list of things-to-be-set-right-in-the-next-version.
> I have
>posted earlier on this list about this fault in the TEI Guidelines,
>without receiving any comments from TEI designers.
This too is an error! My apologies, on my own behalf and that of other
readers of this list who should have responded to your earlier message!
>In spite of these shortcomings using TEI markup has proved to be very
>rewarding in poetry analysis. In the poems (seven poems by one Dutch
>20th century poet) I tagged, I found a connection between deviations
>from metre and the semantic level. Certain rhythmic diversions of the
>metre were almost always used in places where words connected with
>'music' occurred. Further, I found some interesting cross-connections in
>the use of metaphor in the different poems and gained insight in the
>>poet's use of semantic fields. Using TEI markup can lead to a different
>way of looking at poetry, and thus to finding out new things about
>poems, which haven't been discovered before.
This is very encouraging! Thanks again for reporting on your work. Is it
possible to see copies of the final TEI encoded texts? Would you
consider making them available to others? The Oxford Text Archive would
be happy to accept them for deposit!