I am an Indonesian but mostly write in English. Most of my poems are written in English. What terms and rules should I notice? considering that my idea comes to mind in English not my native language.

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    I'm having trouble understanding what you're asking. Are you asking about rules for poetic forms in English? Particular English terms/words that have special meanings (symbolism, etc)? Something else? Apr 8, 2013 at 14:43
  • @MonicaCellio - Agreed. This needs clarification. Apr 8, 2013 at 16:09
  • Des, I'm closing this question so you can clarify, so people don't answer the wrong question (or guess). Please ping Neil or me when you've edited. Thanks! (And please don't be put off by the canned "not real" language below; we don't get to control that.) Apr 8, 2013 at 18:05
  • @MonicaCellio: I am failed to make you both understand what I mean :) I should have said English for writing in general, and for poetry writing in particular. Apr 8, 2013 at 22:50
  • @Neil Fein: As I wrote to Monica :) Apr 8, 2013 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


I'm a South-American-born Chinese and I write novels and short stories in English.

I'm not familiar with poetry rules, but I think that's the easy part. The difficult part is to write like a native speaker (or at least, good enough to be taken seriously by native speakers).

These are some methods I use:

  • I read everyday (e.g. two novels a week)
  • I write and get corrected by native speakers
  • I check my sentences on Google to make sure native speakers are using them
  • I watch movies and listen to songs in English

I think this is more a matter of getting used to thinking and expressing yourself in English rather than learning some set of rules. Which should be easy as long as you have passion in what you do.

  • Making a poem with western nature needs a very deep intuition. While you have never been living in west with its four seasons, what do you think if I could make poems of Spring and Winter? :) Pleased to read your suggestions! Apr 8, 2013 at 12:39
  • @Des Well, I'm pretty sure Spring and Winter also occurs in your country. Use the English language to write about things that happen around you.
    – wyc
    Apr 8, 2013 at 17:04
  • NO, No! We have only dry season and monsoon here, as I am residing in a tropical country. "Use the English language to write about things that happen around you" That's what I always try to do. Apr 8, 2013 at 22:14

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