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I need to make a poem in my English class, and I'm not sure if the way I used refraining in the last line of this stanza is correct. Could you check it out?

"I was the one who retreated from the rain,

And watched other children play in it from my home,

As I wished it would stop raining,

So I could stop refraining."

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  • First and fourth line look okay. I think the second line can flow better. The third line "As I wished it would stop raining" does not seem right. It sounds like "At the exact time I wished it would stop raining". Or perhaps you mean "Like I wished..."?
    – Boondoggle
    Jan 12, 2018 at 1:10

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You need to refrain 'from' something - as refraining is about choosing Not to do - something. So you need to tell us what that 'something' is...

...which you have done - at the start of your poem - you 'retreated from the rain'. So yes, your use of 'refraining' is correct.

You could make it more obvious that you are 'refraining' ie choosing Not to do something, if you tweaked it like this, making the last 2 lines dialogue:

'I was the one who retreated from the rain,
And watched other children play in it from my home,
'Oh! How I wish it would stop raining,
So I could stop refraining!'

You could add 'dry' home - for emphasis or even 'safe dry home' - inference - boo! My parents kept me in!) in this example:

I was the one who retreated from the rain,
And watched other children play in it from my safe dry home,
'Oh! How I wish it would stop raining,
So I could stop refraining!'

But in the latter example, I'd use a different verb than retreated, like 'hid' because retreated sounds like your chosen action' not something your parents made you do. Hid is less... voluntary - caused by one's own fears, or parents' insistence.

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