Thursday, April 14, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 14


Happy Day 14 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 - Too many cooks spoil the broth - illustrates the idea that when too many people are trying to be involved with or in charge of something...they may ruin it. I considered writing a verse about actual cooks making something like stone soup with no edible ingredients, and I thought about gardens too. I even took a nap trying to think of an idea, and I believe that I had one but of course lost it upon waking.

When I finally decided to write about a poet, she turned out to be a porcupine. It delights me to see who shows up when I need them.

This poem did take a lot of working around, and there may be more revisions on it down the line, but I like it for now. Do you see how the title adds a bit more information? I am wondering if it gives too much away.

Today's verse is a story poem with characters and a very small plot. It also includes a list of all the bits of advice given to Porcupine. You might wish to write a story poem. Or not. You might wish to include a list in your poem. Or not.

This is, again, a wee bit of a sad poem, a poem about a lesson learned the hard way. Sometimes that's how we learn lessons...

I wish you your very own voice that knows when to take decent advice and when to listen to yourself.

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

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 15!


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. Well, today I'm wishing it wasn't so for kids who listen too, too much to what others say! It takes a long time to learn to trust oneself. Love that your porcupine is the headliner today, Amy!

  2. Awwww poor Porcupine. She needs a supportive writer's workshop or crit. group. Hopefully, she'll find one soon! Then the broth will be back to good.