Saturday, April 16, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 16


Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy Day 16 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 have been sharing 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 - The grass is always greener on the other side - illustrates the idea that someone else's life seems better than the life you are living. I have found myself feeling envious of others' lives or success or even feeling that different times in my life have been greener. But when I stop and really think, I do know that green is now. It is always now. It's funny that this poem about green grass also calls up the image of the green-eyed monster which is jealousy personified. 

This poem is a Shakespearean sonnet, just like Clay Voices from Day 4 of this project. If you wish to understand the elements of this special form, feel free to visit that post to learn more. I do like thinking in iambic pentameter (10 syllable lines with each pair of syllables starting with an unstressed syllable and then finsihing with a stressed syllable).

Note that I repeat the word green (in different forms) many times throughout this poem. That was a choice. Repeating that word, for me, dug the jealousy feeling in deeper each time. 

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.

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 17!


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1 comment:

  1. Amy, what a great poem about this familiar proverb. I love the many repetitions of "green" and this golden line: "They moved and moved. The greener green did too." I like that they finally see the truth by looking inside and the poem ends on a positive note--hopefully they learned their lesson before it was too late to see the true greenest green.