# [Tex/LaTex] Verse environment won’t set in italics

emphasisitalicparagraphsverse

Could someone please help me fix the following problem? I want to typeset an indented paragraph in italics. Using the verse package, the paragraph typesets without a problem, but when I try to add emphasis or an italic font there are error messages. Here is a minimum working example:

Example 1: properly set (though it could be centered better on other than letter paper)

\documentclass[11pt]{memoir}
\usepackage{geometry}
\geometry{letterpaper}
\usepackage{verse}
\begin{document}

As porcelain and cast iron beat out their clanging melody in Mrs. Dreyfus' kitchen, I
could hear the ineluctable screech of the saintly concertina, I could actually see the
obese silhouette of the now anonymous musician with his black and silver bandoneón, his
stubby hands inhaling and exhaling the pain of his own private tango: Come on, woman,
a little more rum, and close your polyester dress, because I saw your heart, naked in
the  crystal that was trembling as I listened to your song.

\begin{verse}
A song to murder my sadness,\\\

To put me to sleep, to silence me.\\\

And in the cold of this bar-room table, we are both drunk, both drunk.\\\

And in the sensible sorrow that my drunkenness gives me, \\\

slowly, yes slowly, \\\

just one more time.\\\

\end{verse}

\centerline{*****}
\bigskip

The tango invited me to yet another round, but as I reached for the bottle of Ricard,
I heard the tinkling of a porcelain bell:  faint, but obnoxious all the same.  I
released my hold on the neck of the bottle, and wiping my nose, pretended that I had
display her finery before a male suitor, Mrs. Dreyfus bestrode the dining-room table
and shook the delicate artifact from side to side, apparently to signal that the roast
chicken and fried potatoes were now ready.  "Please come and sit down, David."
\end{document}


Example 2: This produces an error message:

\documentclass[11pt]{memoir}
\usepackage{geometry}
\geometry{letterpaper}
\usepackage{verse}
\begin{document}

As porcelain and cast iron beat out their clanging melody in Mrs. Dreyfus' kitchen, I
could hear the ineluctable screech of the saintly concertina, I could actually see the
obese silhouette of the now anonymous musician with his black and silver bandoneón,
his stubby hands inhaling and exhaling the pain of his own private tango: Come on,
woman, a little more rum, and close your polyester dress, because I saw your heart,
naked in the crystal that was trembling as I listened to your song.

\begin{verse}
\emph {A song to murder my sadness,\\\

To put me to sleep, to silence me.\\\

And in the cold of this bar-room table, we are both drunk, both drunk.\\\

And in the sensible sorrow that my drunkenness gives me, \\\

slowly, yes slowly, \\\

just one more time.}\\\

\end{verse}

\centerline{*****}
\bigskip

The tango invited me to yet another round, but as I reached for the bottle of Ricard,
I heard the tinkling of a porcelain bell:  faint, but obnoxious all the same.  I
released my hold on the neck of the bottle, and wiping my nose, pretended that I had
display her finery before a male suitor, Mrs. Dreyfus bestrode the dining-room table
and shook the delicate artifact from side to side, apparently to signal that the roast
chicken and fried potatoes were now ready.  "Please come and sit down, David."

\end{document}


I'm using Texshop and MacTex 2009.

Instead of \emph, use \itshape. The latter changing the font shape (to italics), does not require an argument and can span the entire scope of the verse environment without affecting the rest of your document. This scope if defined by the verse environment's \begin and \end pair - referred to as grouping.

If you want the verse centered, I would suggest using a combination of the center and varwidth environments. The latter, provided by the varwidth package is very similar to the minipage environment:

\begin{varwidth}{<width>}
...
\end{varwidth}


That is, it takes as mandatory argument, a width <width>, but scales to the natural width of the environment contents if it is narrower.

\documentclass[11pt]{memoir}
\usepackage{varwidth}% http://ctan.org/pkg/varwidth
\usepackage[letterpaper]{geometry}   % http://ctan.org/pkg/geometry
\begin{document}

As porcelain and cast iron beat out their clanging melody in Mrs. Dreyfus' kitchen, I could hear the ineluctable screech of the saintly concertina, I could actually see the obese silhouette of the now anonymous musician with his black and silver bandoneón, his stubby hands inhaling and exhaling the pain of his own private tango: Come on, woman, a little more rum, and close your polyester dress, because I saw your heart, naked in the crystal that was trembling as I listened to your song.

\begin{verse}
\emph{A song to murder my sadness,\\
To put me to sleep, to silence me.\\
And in the cold of this bar-room table, we are both drunk, both drunk.\\
And in the sensible sorrow that my drunkenness gives me,\\
slowly, yes slowly,\\
just one more time.}
\end{verse}

\centerline{*****}
\bigskip

The tango invited me to yet another round, but as I reached for the bottle of Ricard, I heard the tinkling of a porcelain bell:  faint, but obnoxious all the same.  I released my hold on the neck of the bottle, and wiping my nose, pretended that I had been reaching for a tissue.  Her head hoisted high like a lady peacock about to display her finery before a male suitor, Mrs. Dreyfus bestrode the dining-room table and shook the delicate artifact from side to side, apparently to signal that the roast chicken and fried potatoes were now ready. Please come and sit down, David.''

\newpage

As porcelain and cast iron beat out their clanging melody in Mrs. Dreyfus' kitchen, I could hear the ineluctable screech of the saintly concertina, I could actually see the obese silhouette of the now anonymous musician with his black and silver bandoneón, his stubby hands inhaling and exhaling the pain of his own private tango: Come on, woman, a little more rum, and close your polyester dress, because I saw your heart, naked in the crystal that was trembling as I listened to your song.

\begin{center}
\begin{varwidth}{\linewidth}
\itshape A song to murder my sadness,\\
To put me to sleep, to silence me.\\
And in the cold of this bar-room table, we are both drunk, both drunk.\\
And in the sensible sorrow that my drunkenness gives me,\\
slowly, yes slowly,\\
just one more time.
\end{varwidth}
\end{center}

\centerline{*****}
\bigskip

The tango invited me to yet another round, but as I reached for the bottle of Ricard, I heard the tinkling of a porcelain bell:  faint, but obnoxious all the same.  I released my hold on the neck of the bottle, and wiping my nose, pretended that I had been reaching for a tissue.  Her head hoisted high like a lady peacock about to display her finery before a male suitor, Mrs. Dreyfus bestrode the dining-room table and shook the delicate artifact from side to side, apparently to signal that the roast chicken and fried potatoes were now ready. Please come and sit down, David.''

\end{document}


The above example shows the same content on two pages. The left page uses \emph and the verse environment (as suggested in other answers), while the page on the right uses \itshape and the varwidth environment. Click on the image to view it full size and compare.