Writing Poetry

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Jefferson Carter Jefferson Carter Male, 92, United States (7/6/2013 7:12:00 PM)

An open letter to ALL ESL poets on Poemhunter:

I don't want to prejudge a poet on this site by his/her foreign name. However, when asked to read one of these poems, I'm sorely tempted to respond with the following form letters:

" Dear ________, a question and a suggestion: why write poetry in English, your second or third language?Forget the prejudices against your own culture's literature promoted by your ESL teachers. It's hard enough to write decent poetry in your FIRST language, much less your second! Stop composing in English; write in your first language and then, if you feel the need, ask a good EFL poet to help you translate the poem into strong, colloquial English."

" Dear _______: '_______' really is an awful poem. It's stiff, sing-songy, clumsy and trite. STOP writing! Start reading good contemporary poets writing in any language you understand. You'll improve if that's your goal. If it isn't, posting here may be fun for you but it's hell for readers like me.

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  • Rookie Walter Conklin (7/22/2013 5:23:00 AM) Post reply
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    Don't you hate when people read their poetry in a sing songy voice?

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