Saturday, April 2, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 2


Happy 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 all of it...

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!

Along with the daily proverb poem, 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.

List of Proverb Poems from April 2022:

And now, today's proverb and poem!

Students - Today's proverb - A thing begun is half done - reminds us that sometimes the most difficult part of taking on something new is simply starting. I often wish or need to do or learn something and somehow, I just keep putting it off and putting it off. Then, when I begin, I ask myself, "Why did I keep putting that off?" The shifting of gears, making a switch, beginning, is half of the work. Someone told me recently, "Just stay in motion. Just stay in motion with your creativity." This is helpful advice, and this is why I am back with another National Poetry Month project. I will not need to begin anew, asking myself how to start or what to write about as I will be writing constantly. I have a project, and it has begun.

You likely noticed the back and forth, or see saw nature of today's poem. I sometimes like to read poems before writing them, and I did read one back and forth poem before writing this one. While I am not sure if this is why my poem takes this structure, it might be part of the reason. Our reading affects our writing.

I began many different drafts inspired by today's proverb, but when I started this one, the violinist appeared on on my page, elbowing herself and her well-loved violin case into each line. I welcomed her with open sweet-pie arms.

I usually first-draft poems by hand and then type the lines and fiddle with line breaks on my laptop screen, and I did this with today's poem too. It is easy to move lines on the screen with just a few taps here and there. So, for creative thinking I often rely on handwriting, and then my typing hands play with structure and form. What about you? It is interesting and exciting to think about how your brain works best for you.

Fiddle. Fiddle.

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

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.

Maybe see you tomorrow for Pick a Proverb, Day 3!


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  1. I love the structure of your poem, Amy! I read it different ways - as one poem from beginning to end, and as two separate poems. They both work. As a violinist myself, I love the line about the violin baking sweet pies inside her heart. Such an unexpected but lovely image.

  2. I'll think about your violinist (and you) as I fiddle, fiddle, fiddle with my words and lines this month!