Module 4: Poetry

3. Rhyme

So far, all of the elements and attributes for structuring verse texts were members of the “common” elements and attributes defined in the core TEI module. Yet, TEI provides a specific verse module as well, which defines a number of elements and attributes specific for the encoding of verse texts. Some of these will be discussed in the following sections. In order to use them, a TEI schema must include all (or just the required) components of that verse module; see Module 8: Customising TEI, ODD, Roma for a tutorial on how to customise TEI.

3.1. Rhyming Words

The rhyming words of a line of verse can be encoded using the appropriate <rhyme> element:

<lg xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" type="poem">
<lg type="stanza">
<l>
<rhyme>Poppadom</rhyme>
</l>
<l>
<rhyme>Oatmeal</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Bubble
<rhyme>gum</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Cut of
<rhyme>veal</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza">
<l>Mince for
<rhyme>pie</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Frozen
<rhyme>peas</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Video for
<rhyme>Guy</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Selection of
<rhyme>teas</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza">
<l>Paper towels/garbage
<rhyme>bags</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Pasta sauce and
<rhyme>Parmesan</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Pumpkin seed and olive
<rhyme>oil</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza">
<l>Cheesy crisps and favourite
<rhyme>mags</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Kidney beans (1 large
<rhyme>can</rhyme>
)</l>
<l>Cling film and kitchen
<rhyme>foil</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
</lg>
Example 15. Encoding rhyme words with <rhyme>.

<rhyme> can appear anywhere in the line. This way, not only end-of-line rhymes can be tagged but also internal rhyme, even inside prose(-like) paragraphs like in the following fragment:

<p xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0">
<rhyme>This</rhyme>
<rhyme>course</rhyme>
on verse
<rhyme>is</rhyme>
<rhyme>terse</rhyme>
and provides a
<rhyme>fine</rhyme>
de
<rhyme>sign</rhyme>
for the study of poetry like
<rhyme>yours</rhyme>
and
<rhyme>mine</rhyme>
</p>
Example 16. <rhyme> can be used inside prose paragraphs, too.

3.2. Rhyme Patterns

Rhyme patterns can be documented with a @rhyme attribute which has a default notation in which distinct letters stand for rhyming lines. This attribute can be added to <lg> and/or to <l>, and also to any <div> element that is used for the encoding of poetry. Of course, the

The rhyme scheme in the shopping list poem is ababcdcdefgefg. This can be documented inside the @rhyme attribute of <lg type="poem">. The rhyme scheme of the separate stanzas can be encoded inside the @rhyme attribute of <lg type="stanza">, and even the rhyme scheme of the separate lines can technically be encoded inside the @rhyme attribute of the <l> element. The complexity of the use of all these options depends on the encoder. A maximally complex encoding could be the following:

<lg xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" type="poem" rhyme="ababcdcdefgefg">
<lg type="stanza">
<l rhyme="a">
<rhyme>Poppadom</rhyme>
</l>
<l rhyme="b">
<rhyme>Oatmeal</rhyme>
</l>
<l rhyme="a">Bubble
<rhyme>gum</rhyme>
</l>
<l rhyme="b">Cut of
<rhyme>veal</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza">
<l rhyme="c">Mince for
<rhyme>pie</rhyme>
</l>
<l rhyme="d">Frozen
<rhyme>peas</rhyme>
</l>
<l rhyme="c">Video for
<rhyme>Guy</rhyme>
</l>
<l rhyme="d">Selection of
<rhyme>teas</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza">
<l rhyme="e">Paper towels/garbage
<rhyme>bags</rhyme>
</l>
<l rhyme="f">Pasta sauce and
<rhyme>Parmesan</rhyme>
</l>
<l rhyme="g">Pumpkin seed and olive
<rhyme>oil</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza">
<l rhyme="e">Cheesy crisps and favourite
<rhyme>mags</rhyme>
</l>
<l rhyme="f">Kidney beans (1 large
<rhyme>can</rhyme>
)</l>
<l rhyme="g">Cling film and kitchen
<rhyme>foil</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
</lg>
Example 17. Encoding the rhyme scheme of different structural units, with @rhyme.

3.3. Rhyming Words and Patterns

The correspondence between the rhyming pattern documented in the @rhyme attribute and the rhyming words encoded with the <rhyme> element can be specified in a @label attribute on the <rhyme> element. The value of this attribute is usually one of the letters of the rhyme pattern. Applied to the shopping list poem, this results in the following encoding:

<lg xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" type="poem" rhyme="ababcdcdefgefg">
<lg type="stanza">
<l>
<rhyme label="a">Poppadom</rhyme>
</l>
<l>
<rhyme label="b">Oatmeal</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Bubble
<rhyme label="a">gum</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Cut of
<rhyme label="b">veal</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza">
<l>Mince for
<rhyme label="c">pie</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Frozen
<rhyme label="d">peas</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Video for
<rhyme label="c">Guy</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Selection of
<rhyme label="d">teas</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza">
<l>Paper towels/garbage
<rhyme label="e">bags</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Pasta sauce and
<rhyme label="f">Parmesan</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Pumpkin seed and olive
<rhyme label="g">oil</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza">
<l>Cheesy crisps and favourite
<rhyme label="e">mags</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Kidney beans (1 large
<rhyme label="f">can</rhyme>
)</l>
<l>Cling film and kitchen
<rhyme label="g">foil</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
</lg>
Example 18. Identifying a <rhyme> in a rhyme scheme with @label.

All <rhyme> elements with the same value for their @label attribute are assumed to rhyme with each other within a given scope. That scope is defined by the nearest ancestor element for which the @rhyme attribute has been supplied.

In the following encoding of the same poem, the scope is defined by the nearest ancestor element with a @rhyme attribute, i.e., the <lg type="stanza"> element. This means that the rhyming words labelled a, b, or c are only assumed to rhyme inside that stanza and not across stanzas:

<lg xmlns="http://www.tei-c.org/ns/1.0" type="poem">
<lg type="stanza" rhyme="abab">
<l>
<rhyme label="a">Poppadom</rhyme>
</l>
<l>
<rhyme label="b">Oatmeal</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Bubble
<rhyme label="a">gum</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Cut of
<rhyme label="b">veal</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza" rhyme="abab">
<l>Mince for
<rhyme label="a">pie</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Frozen
<rhyme label="b">peas</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Video for
<rhyme label="a">Guy</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Selection of
<rhyme label="b">teas</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza" rhyme="abc">
<l>Paper towels/garbage
<rhyme label="a">bags</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Pasta sauce and
<rhyme label="b">Parmesan</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Pumpkin seed and olive
<rhyme label="c">oil</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
<lg type="stanza" rhyme="abc">
<l>Cheesy crisps and favourite
<rhyme label="a">mags</rhyme>
</l>
<l>Kidney beans (1 large
<rhyme label="b">can</rhyme>
)</l>
<l>Cling film and kitchen
<rhyme label="c">foil</rhyme>
</l>
</lg>
</lg>
Example 19. The nearest ancestor element with a @rhyme attribute determines the scope for @label.

Summary

The occurrence of rhyming words and rhyming patterns and their correspondence can be encoded by a combination of tags and attribute values. Depending on the encoder’s preferences, they can be applied to different structural levels of the text.