Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 12


Happy Day 12 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. Dictionary.com 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 - Grief shared is half grief; joy shared is double joy - illustrates the idea that our sadness can be lessened when we share it with others and our joy multiplies when we share it. We can feel better by sharing both our sorrows and our happinesses.

This poem uses two metaphors, or comparisons, to show depict grief (soup) and joy (wildflowers). I tried to think of two things that can be shared and that multiply, two things which gave me a feeling of grief and joy. Soup is not sad, but it is warm and we often eat it on cold days. Wildflowers are colorful and fragrant and can appear wildly happy. 

The last stanza brings these two things together because I do believe that grief and joy can exist at the same time. When my father died, I was very sorrowful...but joyful to have had so many good memories with him. A soup can might hold wildflowers.

I could have written Grief IS LIKE a bowl of soup. And I could have written Joy IS LIKE a packet of wildflower seeds. Those would have been similes, comparing phrases which use the word LIKE or AS when bringing two things together. 

But I didn't. 

Instead I wrote Grief IS a bowl of soup. I wrote Joy IS a packet of wildflower seeds. These are metaphors, and they are a stronger use of language.

You may wish to compare something to something else in a poem that you are writing. If you do, try making a list first, a list of everything you might compare object/feeling/idea one to. Then choose one something from your list and compare away. You may use LIKE or AS. Or you may not. It depends on how strongly you want to make the connection. This, as always, is your choice as writer.

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

Variety is the spice of life.

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 13!


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1 comment:

  1. In light of the fact that my husband's family had a sudden death, this poem is a beautiful reminder of how one feels at this time. Thank you, Amy.