Four Features to Publish Your Poems

Four Features to Publish Your Poems

A roundup of tools in your Post Editor to help with formatting, spacing, and publishing your poems, just in time to begin National Poetry Writing Month.

Earlier today, we kicked off National Poetry Writing Month, also known as NaPoWriMo. Since you’ll be writing a poem each day, here are four easy-to-use features in your Post Editor to help with publishing your poetry.

Blockquotes

When you format your poems, consider blockquotes to call out bits of text. You can display text in a blockquote by placing it inside <blockquote> and </blockquote> tags in your Text Editor, or by clicking the blockquote button in your Visual Editor:

blockquotes

Here’s an example of how text is displayed in a blockquote:

Sifting through my Camera Roll

thousands of images not posted online

I hunt through my library

see the outtakes

and rejects of my days

the stuff I’d felt wasn’t good enough to share

yet these are the photos

unshared, unfiltered

that really tell my stories

— “Fragments on Time”

Preformatted text

You can also use preformatted text to distinguish text within a post, placing it inside the <pre> and </pre> tags when drafting in your Text Editor. The blogger at City Jackdaw uses preformatted text for poetry; here’s an excerpt from a poem titled “Wolf River Blues”:

I lie on my back and watch the sky,
much as I did in childhood;
it is the same. Back flat to the earth,
a dowsing rod of bone,
feet pointing to the sibilant stream...

 
In the Visual Editor, selecting text and choosing the “pre” setting in the style drop-down menu produces the same effect:

The "pre" (preformatted) setting in the style drop-down menu.

The “pre” (preformatted) setting in the style drop-down menu.

Indents and outdents

When you’re creating a post, you can indent and outdent text. In your Visual Editor, look for the Decrease indent and Increase indent buttons, just underneath the icons to insert and remove links:

indent

It’s a simple way to play with formatting and space, like so:

I love the dance of words on the page

Hit increase indent once to move your words forward

And press it again to jump a bit further

And even more, into the future

Keep clicking Decrease indent to return to where you started

And stay in the same place

The same moment in time

If you prefer

Extra line breaks

Another easy, simple way to play with space is to add extra line breaks. The Visual Editor leaves one blank line between each paragraph. But sometimes, especially with poems or experimental prose, you want more space between your paragraphs.

To add a line break, insert &nbsp; in your Text Editor where you’d like a space to appear. You’ll add this code as many times as you want blank lines. So for example, if you want three blank lines between two paragraphs, add the following in your Text Editor:

&nbsp;
&nbsp;
&nbsp;

Adding line breaks is a way to create pauses or to draw out moments in your poems, or simply to explore the dance between words and space. Note: If, after adding those spaces, you click back to the Visual Editor before publishing or updating your post, those spaces will be stripped out again.

For more tips on formatting and styling, read the support pages on styling posts and pages and the Visual Editor.

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Posted by WordPress Guru