Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Pick a Proverb - Day 26


Happy Poetry Friday, and Happy Day 26 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. Dictionary.com 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 - Don't judge a book by its cover - cautions us against forming opinions about something or someone based on appearance. You may have heard the phrase Looks are deceiving, and this means the same thing. Something might not seem great from the outside but be truly wondrous on the inside. And the opposite is also true: something can seem beautiful and perfect on the outside but actually be rotten and terrible on the inside.

I enjoyed staying with the topic of books in today's poem because it was intriguing to imagine an enchanted little library where no one is allowed to look at the books before choosing them. I am tickled to be at the Texas Library Association Conference this week, and so I am thinking a lot about libraries and about how sometimes librarians and teachers wrap books in brown paper, inviting readers to "Choose a surprise!" I would absolutely travel over a stone bridge and pass the bluebirds to visit a library with coverless books.

Once I got writing, I couldn't stop playing with the -eek rhyme. Sometimes I begin noodling with a pattern and then I just want to push it to the limit, usually writing the alphabet and consulting RhymeZone. How many -eek rhyming words can you find in this little verse?

Tomorrow I will share a poem inspired by this proverb:

Still waters run deep.

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 27!


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