Beyond the barriers of poetry in the digital world. Is standardization possible in order to achieve interoperability?

Gonzalez-Blanco, Elena
UNED, Spanien

The need for information exchange has made it necessary to create international standards in most fields. This phenomenon has been especially important for scientific disciplines, with widely adopted standards or even regulations for data exchange. However, humanities have followed a more independent way of evolution, as there are important factors, such as history, creativity or self-identity, which influence each particular tradition with different results.

The case of poetry is especially significant, as every country, group and literary genre has followed an independent and idiosyncratic evolution path. In the philological field, each literary tradition has evolved in a particular way, creating different names and conceptualization systems for similar phenomena. These differences apply to the way of naming lines, stanzas, poems, rhyme schemas and rhythmical patterns. The result of translating all these literary schools into technological structures has drawn a digital panorama in which online access to poetry collections is highly fragmented, as every digital resource is strongly linked to its own tradition. From the technological point of view, there is not a unified solution to deal with poetry issues, and only a few languages (like the TEI, with its module “verse”) have devoted a special place to deal with poetry.

Interoperability among the existing projects, long term preservation and standardization are the keys of success for a digital humanities project. This talks aims at raising the importance of these concepts applied to poetry, revising the problems of the existing panorama, exploring the application of different technologies and opening new horizons of linking poetry projects to enable further comparative studies.