Emacs Poetry Mode

Table of Contents

1 Poetry Mode for Emacs


I got interested in telling stories with poetry after reading some novels in verse. I was pretty impressed with one novel written entirely in sonnet form.

Then I starting reading some Tennyson. Old-fashioned? Sure. Totally cool? You bet.

So I tried my hand at it. Let’s say that I fall short of Tennyson and leave it at that. Making sure that each line had the correct count was only one of my problems, but it was the biggest. I just knew Emacs could help, and so I cooked up poetry.el

2 What it Does

Gives you an “as you type” count of syllables on a line. This saves an unbelievable amount of time when you are an amateur poet.

3 Limitations and Issues

It’s English only.

It counts syllables, not feet.

It doesn’t check rhythm.

Counting syllables on the fly with a rules-based algorithm is difficult, as English has all sorts of exceptions and edge cases. But a dictionary lookup approach would likely be too slow for real-time use.

Still, the accuracy isn’t at all bad, and I think it’s more than good enough to be useful as long as you do a little checking. Trust your judgment. If something doesn’t sound right, maybe it isn’t. If it does sound right, maybe it’s fine.

4 Getting It

Author: Bob Newell

Email: bobnewell@bobnewell.net

Created: 2018-03-07 Wed 14:02