Monday, April 11, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 11


Happy Day 11 of National Poetry Month! April always brings poems, vases full of poems. And over at Jama's Alphabet Soup, Jama always generously shares the various projects happening around the Kidlitosphere during this time. Enjoy!

For National Poetry Month 2022, I will 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" which often have popular opposites. 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.

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. You can read some examples and learn a little more about this projects and my 2010-2020 poetry projects HERE.

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.

And now, today's poem!

Students - Today's proverb - Good things come to those who wait - means just what it says. Worthy things are worth waiting for. Patience pays off. It takes time to become successful or to get what you want.

Thinking about this proverb, a vision of a line came into my head. I always think of lines when I think of waiting, and this line in my head was a line for good things. But you see, you wait in this line not knowing what good thing you will get at the end. Just like life, right?

You're wondering about the magic crow. I don't know. It was a surprise. That's writing for you!

I often like to play with poetic forms because I like the puzzle of syllables and rhyme, and today's poem is a villanelle, a form with lots of rules. You can study this form if you wish, or you can simply look at the poem and think and talk about what you notice. What do you think might be some of the rules of writing a villanelle?

Below you can see some drafting work, though much of it was deleted and typed over. I did begin in my notebook as always, but sometimes with complex forms, I find typing to be easier as I can move lines around quickly and see how words and lines fit together more clearly. I made manymanymany changes to each word and line. The rhyme scheme is strict, and when I write, I want every line to make sense. Even a strange idea (The Magic Goodness-Granting Crow) can make sense in the world of a poem. A villanelle, for me, is puzzle indeed.

Villanelle Draft
Photo by Amy LV

I have shared villanelles twice before here at The Poem Farm before, and if you'd like to read and see those drafts and poems, here you go:

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

Grief shared is half grief; joy shared is double joy.

I invite you to join me in writing about the above proverb using the suggestions listed above today's poem or in choosing your own proverb from the list linked above and in the sidebar here throughout April 2022. If you have a proverb to add to the list, please write to me with a parent or guardian or teacher through that adult's account.

And if any classes of students are picking and writing proverbs along with me (or doing any connected work), I invite teachers to email me through my CONTACT ME button above. If you'd like, we can talk about publishing your students' work here at The Poem Farm. Please note that I do not respond to emails from students as I do not encourage writing to strangers online, but I do respond to students who correspond through parents, guardians, and teachers. It has been a joy to read the proverb poems that folks have shared, and I thank you for letting me peek into your interesting brains, just as you peek into mine!

Maybe see you tomorrow for Pick a Proverb, Day 12!


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 comment:

  1. Even waiting, you've made the standing in line exciting, Amy! It would be fun to read to a class standing in line for . . . Lunch?