Pocket Poetry

I wish I had exercised memory more, and be able to remember by heart some poems I have read. Since I have not, I have looked for a way to carry poetry in my pocket.

Let’s assume that we have copied some poems in a Word processor. Most of them can export files in PDF format.

There is a tool that, among other things, can convert a 16 page PDF file in a two-sided A4 sheet, so that when folded it will become a booklet that can fit inside a wallet. The original document should have a large enough font size in order to be readable when reduced 8 times (ex. Garamond 26).
It can be downloaded at: http://multivalent.sourceforge.net

The file multivalent.jar is copied in a directory. In the command window type:

c:javapathjava.exe -classpath c:multivalentpathMultivalent.jar tool.pdf.Impose -verbose -page 1-16 -dim 2x4 -layout "1l,8r,16l,9r,13l,12r,4l,5r,7l,2r,10l,15r,11l,14r,6l,3r" file_name.pdf

this command means:

  • Take the document’s  16 pages (-page 1-16)
  • And put 8 origin pages in each target page, 2 columns and 4 rows (-dim 2×4)
  • Following this layout (“1l,8r,16l,9r,13l,12r,4l,5r,7l,2r,10l,15r,11l,14r,6l,3r”) :
    • 1st page rotated left
    • 2nd rotated right
    • 16th left
    • 9th  right
    • etc.

Of course it’s easier to have the command in a bat file and just change the document name when needed.

To convert a text to an ebook format (mobi for Kindle, epub for iphones), there is the excellent program Calibre. Besides managing your personal ebook library, Calibre can convert most text formats (txt, rtf, odt, doc, html) to ebook formats. So, they can be transferred to a reading device like kindle or use a read app in our smartphone (fbreader  supports most formats without havint to convert them).

This way we will have always available the poetry we like and read it whenever we feel like to. For example during boring meetings at work, we can pretend to check email while actually we are enjoying a sonnet!

Here, some picks of poetry (in catalan) in pocket format. (Espriu, Maragall, Vinyoli, Màrius torres, Guerau de Liost, Salvat-Papasseit and others).