Frequently Asked QuestionsVersion 5.1, 8/31/2003 by S.L.S.
The editors of this site have taken on the mission of serving this role for the art of Poetry. It is our desire to compile the largest, most diverse, and most accessible online collection of poetry in the world.
As of the 3rd Quarter of 2003 when this FAQ was last updated, we are well on our way to achieving this goal, with around 6,700 works online by 780 authors. There are comprehensive author, title/first line and subject indices, and a variety of additional features to increase interest or enhance ease of use.
The site was developed initially by Steve Spanoudis of Coral Springs, FL, who has been joined over the years by Bob Blair from Austin, TX, Nelson Miller from Macon, GA, and Jon Lachelt from Fort Collins, Colorado. In addition, this site has received the support of individuals from around the globe, and is used by thousands of people each week.
If you are trying to find something and are not certain about the who or the what, there is now an effective search tool, courtesy of Yahoo. Note that the tool searches all of The Other Pages, which includes several other text and image collections.
If all else fails (not as a first course of action, please), e-mail questions are answered if one of the editors is available. Note that we cannot guarantee an answer, though are track record is probably better than 80%.
Most students have their greatest difficulty (a) figuring out what a poem's true subject is in the first place, and (b) figuring out how the poem's mechanics support its meaning. As Bob's Daily Poetry Breaks reinforce almost weekly, reciting a poem aloud and paying attention to what you're saying helps as much as anything.
Sorry, we can not manage or maintain a library of reciprocal links. There are loads of search engines and other sites that do that. I want to spend our limited time and resources maintaining the collection itself - not verifying owners, checking for scams, and watching for broken links.
We have a hope that at some point we will be able to get permission to add more recent works, and these will be designated with the appropriate copyright information. These may not be copied or distributed further without permission of the copyright holder. As we have no budget for this, it may also be a long, long time.
If you are duplicating or researching something, please do us the courtesy of listing the Poets' Corner URL (http://theotherpages/poems/) as a reference. Even the NY Times does us that courtesy. Surprisingly, as the search engines and index sites are becoming so clogged, word of mouth (or rather, of e-mail) is once again becoming the best communications medium.
If you are among the 50% of our users who are outside the US, please check on the local copyright status before assuming 20th century works are in the public domain.
Please note that the copyright notice on the collection references 'The Collection', all editorial content and annotation, and the HTML scripting and graphic that comprise the collection's characteristics. Please do not 'lift' pages from the collection to plug into your own online collection. They become 'dead files' that can not be maintained, and whose linkages are incorrect. Instead please link to the relevant page in the collection, or cut and past the text you wish to reference into your own pages.
The easiest way to send a poem is to cut and paste it into an ordinary e-mail message. Please include the source information to help us in confirming that the work is not under copyright. Try to be faithful to the spelling and indentation of the original. (Many poetry readers are natural proofreaders, it seems, by nature.) Poems will be scripted in html as closely as possible to the original print versions.
Because of the wide range of readership this site enjoys, there are some basic ground rules on content: we tend to avoid explicitly sexual, hate-ridden or prejudicial material. Fortunately, since people tend to send in their favorites (and there are good reasons why poems become favorites), the acceptance rate is very high.
If you are looking for a place to contribute YOUR OWN POEMS, we are (slowly) developing a companion site, UniVerse. Contributions are welcomed.
It is perhaps one of the basic definitions of poetry that it does not translate well between languages. It is very difficult to match the rhyme, form, meaning, and meter in more than one language at a time. There are exceptions to this, so we will from time-to-time add translated works. Most of the well-known translations are 'interpretive' in nature, not literal. Fitzgerald's version of the Rubaiyat is a prime example. I learned my own lesson by spending a year translating Virgil's Aeneid from Latin once upon a time. Heu (sigh).
There are some major works where annotations are included, and Bob Blair has been the principal editor in this area. Check out his Don Juan by Byron when you have a chance.
My apologies to all A.P. English students out there who would like their homework done for them. Please see the section above on Homework.
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