Thursday, March 24, 2022

Poetry Friday & April Project

The Poetry Friday Roundup is Here Today!


Wisdom Cake
by Amy LV

Students - Today's poem introduces my 2022 National Poetry Month project, PICK A PROVERB.

Each year, for the past twelve of thirteen years, along with many other writers, I choose to write and share a daily poem. I like to write these collections around themes, and during the weeks before April, I toss many ideas around inside of my head. Here is a list of my past projects:

2010 - Birth of The Poem Farm -  I wrote a poem each day for a month, beginning actually, on March 29, 2010. This blog just to be a one month project, just for me, to get me writing again as I awaited the publication of FOREST HAS A SONG.  At the end of April 2010, I was having too much fun to stop, decided to go for one whole year, publishing a poem at The Poem Farm each day.  And I stayed to post on Fridays.

2011 Daily Poems Again - For each day of April 2011, I continued to write and share daily poems. However, I had no theme as the blog was just entering its second year.

2012 - A-Z Dictionary Hike - Here's where the themes began.  Each day of April 2012, I opened my children's dictionary to a different letter, starting with A, ending with Z.  Eyes closed, I pointed to a word and this word became the title of that day's poem.

2013 - Drawing into Poems - For each day of April 2013, I slowed myself down and looked closely at an object, drawing it with black pen into my notebook. On some days, I wrote poems from these drawings, but on many days, I simply allowed the looking-drawing practice to practice becoming a closer observer.

2014 - Thrift Store - For each day of April 2014, I wrote a poem from a photograph of an item I found in a thrift store.  These poems are no longer at The Poem Farm.

2015 - Sing That Poem - For each day of April 2015, I wrote a poem to the meter of a well-known tune and challenged readers to match the poem to the tune by seeing if it was singable to the same meter. One of these singable poems ended up in my book WITH MY HANDS: POEMS ABOUT MAKING THINGS.

2016 - Wallow in Wonder - For my 2016 National Poetry Month project, I celebrated learning and writing from learning, writing poems from each daily Wonder at Wonderopolis.  I have not yet collected these posts into one post, but I may one day.

2017 - Writing the Rainbow - Each day of April 2017, I randomly selected a different Crayola crayon from a new box of 64.  Each day, I wrote a poem inspired by the color I chose.  These poems all ended up telling the story of a young city girl and the moments of her daily life and are no longer here at the blog.

2018 - 1 Subject *** 30 Ways - Each day of April 2018, I wrote daily poems focused on the constellation Orion.  Each poem played with a different poetic technique, and I used the lessons in my own book, POEMS ARE TEACHERS: HOW STUDYING POETRY STRENGTHENS WRITING IN ALL GENRES, to stretch my writing.  These poems are not currently online.

2019 - Tell a Poemstory - Three years ago, I shared a series of 30 free verse poems that told a story about a boy named John and a dog named Betsy and a lady named Betsy. I am so happy to report that these will be soon published by Eerdmans.

2020 - Roll the Dice - Two years ago, for my most recent April project, I rolled three word dice daily (from inside my vintage camper Betsy) and wrote daily poems inspired by one, two, or three of the rolled words. You can watch the videos that went with these on my YouTube channel, Keeping a Notebook Videos #13 - #42.

2021 - Last year I returned to the classroom as a fourth grade teacher after 22 years away and did not share a public poetry project in this space.

And now...for this year! I am back in the April project world with PICK A PROVERB.

For National Poetry Month 2022, I will write and share a daily poem inspired by a popular proverb. defines a proverb as "a short, popular saying, usually of unknown and ancient origin, that expresses some commonplace truth or useful thought." A proverb might also be called a saying, an expression, a maxim, or an adage, and Merriam Webster notes that proverbs are "nuggets of wisdom" that often have opposites which are also popular. Some of you may know the word Proverbs from the book of the Bible, but proverbs are not all from the Bible - many come from daily life.

We hear proverbs out and about in our daily lives all of the time, and different cultures have different proverbs (sometimes with the same meaning!), so depending on your heritage and the language(s) you speak, you may know some sayings and expressions that will be new to your friends.

These are a few proverbs that we hear often in the United States:

The early bird catches the worm.
Don't judge a book by its cover.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
A watched pot never boils.

I have written a couple of poems inspired by proverbs in past years. Here are two:

Here is the PICK A PROVERB LIST that I will write from throughout April 2022, and I will add to this as I discover more proverbs. As school districts block outside Google docs for student access, I welcome teachers to "Make a Copy" of this document and to share it with students from your school district accounts.

My suggestion is that we write from proverbs in many ways:
  • Write a true story poem inspired by the proverb
  • Make up a story poem connected to the proverb
  • Write a poem agreeing with the proverb
  • Write a poem disagreeing with the proverb
  • Connect a fact or historical moment to the proverb
  • Take any one word or bit from the proverb and write from that
  • Anything else!

Each day of April, I will share a proverb, the meaning of the proverb, and a poem inspired by that proverb. I will also share the the proverb which will inspire the next day's poem. I invite to you write from proverbs of your own choosing or to write proverb poems along with me.

It is a thrill to once again host Poetry Friday at The Poem Farm! I have not hosted this weekly event since April 2020, and I could not be happier to welcome my friends-in-poetry back here to my cozy online home. If you are not familiar with Poetry Friday, you can know that all are always welcome, and you can learn more about it at No Water River. Click the blue button below to add your link or to see all of the folks sharing this week.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Next Friday is the first day of National Poetry Month, the one-month-birthday of my new book IF THIS BIRD HAD POCKETS: A POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY CELEBRATION, and the Poetry Friday roundup over at Heidi's place, my juicy little universe. Let the fun begin!


Please share a comment below if you wish. 
If you are under 13 years old, please only comment with a parent
or as part of a group with your teacher and class.


  1. What a great intro for your project. Lovely that you'll be back for NPM this year, Amy! I'm in with a dodoitsu... I can't get inlinkz to open.

    1. Oops! I had set it to midnight. All fixed now, and I posted it for you! xoxo, a.

    2. Thanks, Amy! Can't wait to see your proverb poems :>)

  2. Thank you so much for hosting! The Great Cake of Life is a wonderful idea. And the proverbs are already giving me some inspiration for fun: Beggars can't be choosers-->Chiggers can't be boozers.

  3. Great theme for April, Amy! In the past I wrote along with you in April on most, but usually not every, day. Last year I wrote a poem every day in April. This year I hope to do it again, but this time with a theme (which I haven't yet chosen). Thank you always for your inspiration!

  4. Sounds like an intriguing poem project for National Poetry Month Amy–it gives one lots to think about and many ways to interpret the thoughts too… Love the word play in your "Wisdom Cake" poem, quite tastey and playful too! Thanks for hosting the roundup, and I'll have to round myself back around here for some more proverbs.

  5. Thanks so much for all this inspiration, Amy. Much to think about and write about...the great cake of life beckons! Thanks also for hosting today. Best to you...

  6. Happy to see you back hosting, Amy. Thank you! My favorite of your poetry month(s) is still the thrift store poems. I loved seeing & reading about your fabulous discoveries. The proverb poem is a wise start to this April. We can use lots of wisdom lately! I'll look forward to reading what you find this time.

  7. What a great project and what a great introduction - I love your analogy of a wisdom cake. Thanks for hosting today.

  8. Hi Amy: Your poetry project sounds delightful! Here is my blog post -- a catching up of sorts. :-)

  9. oooooooh! Pick a proverb sounds challenging and fun. And, it will blend with my April poetry project. Thank you! And, thank you for the piece of cake. It is sweet. Oh, so sweet.

  10. I love seeing the timeline of Poetry Months and what you've done over the years. Love the Proverb idea. So fun! Thanks for hosting.

  11. Welcome back to hosting, Amy--I do love seeing your round-up of past Aprils, and hearing the great news about John, Betsy and Betsy! And we could all use a thick slice of wisdom cake--although I see that the cake is actually LIFE. Every bite teaches us something, and I'm looking forward to tasting your daily bites.

  12. In my classroom, we've been writing to 365 Days of Wonder quotes, some of which are Proverbs. My class will be following you this April. I'm starting to get excited!

  13. What a fun project! I can't wait to follow along!

  14. Thanks for hosting, Amy - and congratulations on 12 years of blogging! I'll be celebrating 10 years this August, and it's truly amazing to see how many words we've written and far we've both come in our careers. It's been wonderful getting to know you, and I wish you the best with this new book from Eerdmans!

  15. Hi Amy, this sounds like a delicious project! Thanks for all you give the world. xo

  16. Love the repetition and twists in your poem--very clever. Do you know about the board game "Wise and Otherwise'? Not sure if it's still in print, but it's based on proverbs. Everyone tries to complete the start of a "wisdom saying" like "After awhile, even the dog..." It's super fun, and we have a Hall of Fame for hilarious proverbs we've created over the years. Thank you for hosting today!

  17. What a great NPM project, Amy. I love proverbs and so many to choose from! I have been away from PF for about 9 months, but am returning for NPM. Great, as always, to visit your friendly blog home. xo

  18. Looking forward to celebrating NPM with you and your proverbs!

  19. Yay for proverbs, which I've always had a thing for. Your beautiful list of dedication and creativity year after year is simply inspiring - thank you for sharing all this goodness with the world! XO & Thanks for hosting!!

  20. I've never thought about the 'taste' of wisdom before, Amy. This is lovely. Thank you, and thank you for hosting!

  21. You always think of the best NPM projects!! So looking forward to your proverb poems. Enjoyed your wonderful intro and your Wisdom Cake poem :). Thanks for hosting this week!!

  22. Poetry from Proverbs! What a great idea! I will have to try it! When I held a garden club for elementary students (15 years) I taught a lesson on plant lore and legends. Most children did not know what "legends" I was looking for - Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, etc. Instead, they named football players. I think your proverb work could have the same illuminating effect. Thanks for hosting today and for sharing your work!

  23. Amy, nice idea for the pick-a-proverb project. I like the idea of chewing in a proven. "How does this proverb taste to you?" Thank you for hosting today.

  24. I LOVE "a bite of wisdom from the Great Cake of Life." :D xo I always adore your projects and can't wait to follow this one. And how inspiring to see that round-up of your past NPMs. Thanks so much for hosting this week, Amy.

  25. Thank you for hosting this month and for the fabulous idea of the proverbs!! I have been casting around for a theme for next month, and I might just have to scribble out a proverb poem or two!

  26. Enjoyed your poem, Amy! Great topic for NPM. Congrats on the new book and thanks for hosting! xo

  27. I'm looking forward to reading your poems based on proverbs this month. I love the lines in this poem that say: Wisdom tastes different/based on what you carry.

    There's so much to think about just in those two lines. Thank you for hosting us this week!