The study of modem Indonesian poetry can explain changing Indonesian language ideologies, as well as changing ideologies concerning the agentive role of the individual in a modem community. I claim that a key mechanism that allowed for these shifts in local understandings was the poets' ability to make iconic links both language internally and between language and the shared cultural environment. The subsequent identification of iconic links by readers had the effect of naturalizing changing ideologies. My project identifies objective features of aesthetically powerful language to better understand its role in social discourse. This project also examines the role of ideology in speaking, writing and perceiving language. This project will have implications for understanding the current political reconfiguration of Indonesia as a nation as well as what it might mean to think of oneself as Indonesian. What drives my research is the desire to understand the ways that iconicity can be used in language to appropriate new ideas and changing ideologies.