Index of Poem Titles?

Posted by annie | 1 comment

I was looking at the site today and thinking about ways we could take advantage of the heroic transcription and indexing work that was done by Celyn. I think it would be very promising to eventually link the poem titles to the published collections in which they might have appeared. Of course some poems would have appeared in little magazines, and may have taken on other forms in anthologies or collections, but one thing a researcher would likely want to know upon hearing a poem is “When or where was this published?”


Along similar lines, since we know the titles of all the poems performed, it would be great to offer an index of poems by title on the site. When reading poetry, we are accustomed to a table of contents of the poems within a book or an index of titles of poems at the back of the book.


The title of a poem is a great access point for a long audio file. As the site exists now, the researcher could know exactly where in the audio file to go to hear a specific poem. But how could they know which poems were in the collection if they didn’t go into each recording and transcript? We want to help them know what is in each recording.


Once the text and audio are fully tethered, I wonder if there is a way to have an index of poem titles that would appear on the site. This would be a great way to enhance discoverability.


Right now we can browse by author, but how could we facilitate browsing at the poem level? Maybe an index of titles. Maybe we could have poem titles display randomly on the home page, and it could take the user to a specific point in the recording and transcript to hear/see that particular poem.


If we are capable of “bookmarking” a specific place in both the recording and the transcript, it might be very useful for researchers. Imagine if other reading series were using the same Spoken Web software setup. If you could have an index of poem titles, it would facilitate comparison of performances of a specific poem.

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1 comment

  1. celyn says:

    I agree with Annie about allowing researchers to find poems by title, as most audio poetry websites seem to be set up in this way. Not all of the poem titles are known– so having an index of first lines of the unknown poems would be very useful also.

    I had also located several poets’ poems in publications, specifically where the poet didn’t mention the poem title, like in bp Nichol and Lionel Kearns’ reading. This was a difficult task (scanning first lines of dozens of books trying to find one that matched) but ultimately, was very rewarding. More work would need to be done to adding this element to all of the transcripts, but certainly if we could physically link any poems to online publications it would enrich the researcher/reader’s experience here.


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