Stressing TEI

There are a lot of online scholarly projects that feel like graveyards even when they first launch – at least that’s my experience. The usefulness of some of these sites seems limited, especially in terms their potential audience. But For Better for Verse is a relatively practical site for all students of poetry to practice scansion. (Maybe my enthusiasm stems from my own difficulties around scansion…) Users of the site can guess where stresses go in a poem – specific to the syllable – and have their guesses checked. As discussed in class, this site uses TEI as a way of tagging something that is not presentational: syllables.

TEI features this site on its “Projects” page, in which an overview of the project’s use of TEI is given:

“The several dozen poems in the site are marked up with TEI P5 coding, especially subsection 6 on Verse. We introduced slight modification of the marking of syllable divisions within a word but chiefly followed the TEI protocols.”

The actual website of For Better for Verse, however, does not contain any of this information (or even a link to the TEI page). The XML is not available to access.  The site was developed by the University of Virginia Department of English. Contact information is given, and so it is possible that the contacts may be able to share the source code with anyone interested in the site’s use of TEI.


 “For Better for Verse.” Text Encoding Initiative. Accessed February 3, 2016.

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