Braille Formats
Principles of Print to Braille Transcription
1997


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  • Rule 10


    Poetry, Scansion, Accent and Meter
    Poetic Rhyme Scheme, Alliteration

    1. Poetry. When transcribing poetry, observe the following directives.

      1. Poetry in conventional stanza or verse form

          (1) When the text shows a wide space between words printed on the same line, three blank cells must be used to indicate this spacing in braille.

          (2) Indention of poetic lines and runovers

            (a) When a poem or stanza is printed showing all poetic lines left-justified, each poetic line must begin in cell 1 with runovers in cell 3.

            (b) If poetic lines are printed showing a regular indention pn pattern, this must be shown in braille as follows. Poetic lines that begin at the left print margin of the poem must begin in cell 1. Place the first poetic line indention beginning in cell 3, the second indention in cell 5, and so forth. All runovers of poetic lines must begin two cells to the right of the beginning of the farthest indented poetic line in the poem.

          (3) Divided or incomplete poetic lines

            (a) To indicate the division of a single poetic line shown in print, either between the lines of a stanza or between stanzas, insert a double dash (preceded by a blank cell) at the end of the incomplete line. A second double dash, indented as a runover according to (2) above and followed by a blank cell, must be inserted before the continuation of the poetic line.

            (b) If a poem or a stanza begins with an incomplete poetic line, this must be indicated by inserting a double dash indented as a runover according to (2) above and followed by a blank cell.

            (c) An explanation of this usage must be given in a transcriber's note placed in accordance with Rule 1, Section 7a, as follows.

            the braille double dash indicates an incomplete poetic line.

          (4) Separation of stanzas

            (a) Numbered stanzas or verses. A blank line must be left preceding each stanza or verse number. Place the appropriate numeral starting in cell 5 on the line immediately above each numbered stanza or verse.

            (b) Unnumbered stanzas or verses. Each unnumbered stanza or verse must be preceded and followed by a blank line.

            (c) When a stanza, other than one that is preceded by a title or a heading, begins at the top of a print page that starts within a braille page, insert the page change indicator and leave one blank line before beginning the stanza.

            (d) When a stanza, other than the final one shown in print, ends on the last or the next-to-last line of a braille page, a blank line must be left at the top of the next braille page (after the running head, if used).

          (5) Stanza division. In dividing a stanza between braille pages, no runover of a poetic line may be carried over to a new braille page. Additionally, the following must be observed.

            (a) First stanza. Unless there is a space at the bottom of a braille page for the title and the first two complete poetic lines, the poem must begin on a new braille page.

            (b) Other stanzas. Division must be made so that at least one complete poetic line will appear at the bottom or at the top of a braille page.

          (6) Poetic lines within narrative text. When part of a poem is run in, i.e., incorporated in to the narrative text and not set off as an excerpt, follow the directives given below.

            (a) Retain the print quotation marks or special typeface used to distinguish the lines of poetry shown run into narrative text.

            (b) To indicate where one poetic line ends and another begins, follow the print copy using the braille symbols listed below.

            dots 4-5-6dots 3-4 / slash
            dots 4dots 1-2-5-6 | vertical bar

            (c) Follow the print copy for the spacing of these symbols, either of which may begin or end a braille line. These symbols must be identified in transcriber's notes according to Rule 1, Section 7 or in the special symbols list according to Rule 2, Section 5.

      2. Pattern poetry, poems with irregular poetic lines. A pattern poem is one that has its lines arranged to represent the shape of an object or to suggest action, motion, a mood or feeling. If it is important to illustrate the print poem's shape or spatial style, either a transcriber's note of description or a tactile illustration may be included in the braille edition.

          (1) When the indentations of irregular poetic lines form a discernible pattern, begin the lines shown at the farthest left position in cell 1. Indent two cells for each succeeding indention. Start all runovers two cells to the right of the beginning of the farthest indented line.

          (2) When the print poem shows an unusual spatial arrangement with no regular pattern of indention, use the following format. Start each line of the poem in cell 1 with runovers in cell 3. Insert a transcriber's note explaining that print format is not reproduced.

          (3) Items that appear widely spaced apart on the same print line must be brailled with three blank cells separating them.

          (4) Whenever run-together words, unusual capitalization, punctuation, or spelling is shown in a poem, use uncontracted braille where necessary to prevent misreading.

          (5) If it is necessary to distinguish between left and right parentheses shown in a poem, substitute any of the linear enclosure symbols provided in Rule 6, Section 2b that are not otherwise used in the poem. A transcriber's note must be inserted before the poem to explain this substitution.

      3. Prose poetry. A prose poem must be preceded and followed by a blank line. Follow print copy for paragraph indention and ignore special typeface except where required for emphasis or distinction.

      4. Line numbers in poetry. When numbered lines of poetry are shown in the print text, follow the provisions given in Rule 11, Section 1.

      5. Reference marks and notes in poetry. Reference marks must be transcribed according to Rule 12, Section 1. The format of notes must be in accordance with Rule 12, Section 3b.

          (1) Notes to line-numbered poetry. Follow the provisions given in Rule 11, Sections 1d(1)-(4)

          (2) Notes to poetry in verse form. Notes must start four cells to the right of the beginning of the runover indention, whether or not there actually are runovers. When the runovers of poetic lines should start in cell 3, notes must start in cell 7 with note runovers in cell 5. When poetic line runovers should start in cell 5, notes must start in cell 9 with note runovers in cell 7, and so forth.

          (3) Notes to poetry in prose form. Such notes must start in cell 7 with runovers in cell 5.

    2. Scansion, accent, and meter. Scansion is a system for describing poetic rhythms by dividing the lines into feet and indicating the locations of accents. When any of the braille symbols provided in this Code section are used in a text they must be identified in transcriber's notes according to Rule 1, Section 7 or in the special symbols list according to Rule 2, Section 5.

      1. Simple scansion. When a single accent or stress sign is used in the print text to indicate scansion, insert the braille accent symbol (4) unspaced before the first vowel of each stressed syllable. Contracted braille may be used except when the stressed vowel is part of a braille contraction.

      2. Detailed scansion and accent. Use the braille symbols given below to represent the print accent or stress signs shown in detailed scansion. Such material must be written in uncontracted braille with the appropriate accent or stress symbol inserted unspaced before the first vowel of the affected syllable. When the accent or stress sign is shown above an initial capitalized vowel, the capital indicator must precede the accent symbol.

        dots 3-4-5 acute
        dots 4-5 breve
        dots 1-2-6 grave
        dots 4-5-6 macron

      3. Meter. Use the braille symbols given below to represent the print signs shown indicating the meter or rhythmic pattern of poetic lines. Follow the print copy for the spacing of these symbols.

        dots 4-5-6dots 3-4 / slash
        dots 4-5-6dots 3-4dots 3-4 // double slash
        dots 4dots 1-2-5-6 | vertical bar
        dots 1-2-5-6dots 1-2-5-6 || double vertical bar

          (1) The slash or vertical bar is usually identified as the sign for foot division and the double slash or double vertical bar is commonly called the caesura.. Use the names given in the print text (if any) when identifying the braille symbols for these print signs.

          (2) Use contracted braille may be used in transcribing material that shows only simple poetic meter. However, if a poetic meter sign is printed within a word, that word must be written in uncontracted braille.

          (3) If poetic meter and the detailed scansion and stress symbols given in Section 2b above are used, the material must be written in uncontracted braille.

          (4) When it is necessary to divide a poetic line between braille lines, either of the poetic meter symbols may begin a new braille line, but such a division must not be made within a foot.

      4. Diagrammed scansion and meter. When the text shows only a diagram consisting of accent, stress, and meter signs with no lines of poetry, use the braille symbols that are provided in Sections 2b and 2c above for accent, stress, and meter signs.

          (1) Follow the print copy for spacing and punctuation of scansion and meter symbols.

          (2) Begin each diagrammed poetic line in cell 1 with runovers in cell 3.

          (3) If it is necessary to divide a line of the print diagram between braille lines, the poetic meter symbol may start a new braille line, but such division must not be made within a foot.

          (4) When the print diagram shows two or more choices of meter for a particular foot, insert the word or, preceded and followed by a blank cell, between the symbols for these choices.

    3. Poetic rhyme scheme. Follow the directives given below when a print text uses letters to indicate the pattern or sequence of rhyme sounds in a poem or stanza.

      1. If a rhyme scheme is indicated by a linear sequence of lowercase letters within the narrative body of the text, follow the print copy for spacing and capitalization. Use uncontracted braille and retain the special typeface shown in print for these letters.

      2. When rhyme scheme letters are printed in either the left or right margin beside poetic lines, the poetry format must be retained as provided in Section 1 above.

          (1) Each letter, preceded by the letter indicator, must be placed to end at the right margin of the braille line on which the lettered poetic line begins. Ignore print use of italics for these letters and do not repeat the letter when a print poetic line requires more that one braille line.

          (2) All poetic lines in this format must end so that at least two blank cells are left before the rhyme scheme letters.

          (3) No poetic lines in this format may be placed on the first or the last line of a braille page with the print and braille page numbers.

    4. Alliteration. Follow the provisions given below when alliteration, i.e., repetition of initial consonant sounds or vowel sounds in successive or closely associated syllables of words in a phrase or poetic line, is shown by special print typeface, colored type, or underlined letters.

      1. Use uncontracted braille in transcribing the words that show emphasized letter and use contracted braille for the rest of the phrase or poetic line(s).

      2. To represent the emphasized letters use only braille italics. Do not insert hyphens unless they are shown in print.

      3. The termination symbol (6,3) must be inserted to terminate the effect of the braille italic indicator. If a print hyphen is hown following the letter or letters printed in a special typeface, the braille hyphen must follow the termination symbol. Include the termination symbol in the special symbols list according to Rule 2, Section 5.



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