Thursday, April 21, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 21


Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy Day 21 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.

List of Proverb Poems from April 2022:

And now, today's poem!

Students - Today's proverb - There is always light at the end of the tunnel - illustrates the idea that after things are dark for a long time, brightness will shine again. After sorrow, we will feel joy again. After suffering, there will be goodness. Bad things end.

The other day I wrote that I intend to play around with some new-to-me forms, and this is another. Today's poem is a tricube, which is a newish form invented by Phillip Larrea. Its rules are simple:

3 stanzas
3 lines per stanza
3 syllables per line

Tricubes need not be punctuation-less as mine mostly is, and the super thing about tricubes is that fewer words = more attention to the words you've got. There is no room to waste words in a tricube. If you (like me) sometimes rely on often-unnecessary words such as the and a, writing a tricube may help you pare down to what is most neccessary. Each word needs to carry a whole backpack of sound and meaning.

As is usually the case, I did not know how to show this proverb through a poem right away. But to tell you the truth, I think that the view out of my window as I wrote likely played a part in my writing choices:

Daffodils in Snow
Photo by Amy LV

Remember - look outside. A window can be an excellent writing assistant. 

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

Little things mean a lot.

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 22!


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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 comment:

  1. Your project has been so fun to see grow day by those lace quilts hushing.