Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 20


Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy Day 20 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 - The best things in life are free - means just what it says. Often people want things that cost a lot of money - fancy jewelry, expensive cars, pricey toys. But usually, what gives humans our greatest joys are things which do not cost money: loved ones, health, pretty days, warm memories, a fun and cozy moments with loved ones and animals.

This draft was not my first plan. I began by writing a poem about a person with a diamond in one hand and a black pebble in the other. Then I drafted most of a list poem listing fabulous, free things such as a pebble, a box to play with, a poem. But you see, the pebble wanted to be the star. It told me, "This poem is to be about me." 

And so I listened.

Do that. Listen to the voices that speak to you as you write. And if it feels right, do as they say.

I do like smooth rocks, like to hold them in my palm, like to remember where they came from. I believe that they remember too. 

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

There is always light at the end of the tunnel.

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 21!


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1 comment:

  1. I love the ones where I can't guess the proverb from the poem. The title should have helped me...I see now the work it is doing. But I do love that pebble. The way it spoke to you. It's message in the poem.