[sword-devel] SweFolk issues

Kahunapule Michael Johnson kahunapule at mpj.cx
Tue Mar 24 17:42:31 MST 2009

DM Smith wrote:
> Regarding poetry in general, I think lines provide little, if any,
> semantic meaning. (But then again, I failed the poetry part of high
> school English!) It seems that the sole purpose of poetic markup is to
> present poetry. (I'd be curious as to where the line breaks would be
> in a Hebrew scroll.)

The presentation of poetry varies by language. In Biblical Hebrew, the
poetry really is organized into "lines" of thought that are obvious to
the fluent reader, and those "lines" or phrases may be offset by pauses
when read aloud. On a scroll, letters are crammed together into a small
space with no word breaks, let alone line breaks at logical places. In
English and many other languages, the presentation of the phrases of
poetry in lines and stanzas is an essential part of poetic form, not to
be lightly discarded as not having meaning. As much as practical, the
presentation should mirror the form of poetry appropriate to the
language, and follow the desires of the translator. For example,
sometimes (but not always) in English poetry, poetic line beginnings are
capitalized. If you remove the line breaks, it just looks like random
capitalization errors instead of poetry.

(who wrote some modern psalms and posted them at

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